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Somerset softball team relishes season's first win

With the varsity and junior varsity both earning wins, it was an enjoyable bus trip home for the Somerset softball teams from Amery last Tuesday.

The Spartan varsity defeated Amery 6-3 for Somerset’s first win of the 2014 season.

The win came because the Spartans were able to put together all the necessary ingredients, with solid hitting, pitching and defense.

The hitting was led by Megan Starry and Ally Wittstock. They both went 3-4 in the game with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.

“The top of the order has been doing really well at getting runners on base,” said Spartan coach Cory Lindenberg.

The offense got started right away, with the Spartans scoring twice in the first inning. Amery took advantage of a few errors to score three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

After that, Amery had very few baserunners. Spartan junior pitcher Rachel Cloutier got into a groove and mowed down the Warriors. Cloutier finished the game with six strikeouts and no walks.

“Rachel’s been coming on quite a bit since the first couple games,” Lindenberg said. “She’s starting to get her legs underneath her. Her location is back.”

The defense also stabilized after the first inning. In fact, an alert double play got the Spartans out of a potentially big problem in the second inning. Amery had a runner on third base with no outs in the second. A grounder was hit to Katie Berg, who looked the runner back before firing to first base for the out. The Amery runner tried to score after Berg made her throw, but a strong throw from first base allowed Spartan catcher Abby Rivard to make the tag at home plate to complete the double play.

“After the first inning, they made all the right plays,” Lindenberg said of the Spartan defense.

Rivard scored the tying run in the second inning for the Spartans. She led off the inning and scored on Starry’s double.

The score remained 3-3 until the Spartans put together one of their best hitting streaks of the season. The runs were produced on a string of singles from Starry, Wittstock, Jocelyn Rivard and Cloutier.

The Spartans added an insurance run in the seventh inning. Wittstock led off with a single, was sacrificed to second, and scored on Racheal Russell’s single.

When the Spartans traveled to Durand on Friday, things didn’t go as well. The Spartans didn’t take advantage of their scoring opportunities, while the Panthers did. That resulted in Durand winning the game 10-0.

The Spartans had baserunners from five hits and three walks.

“We either ran into outs or we couldn’t get that last hit to get the runners in,” Lindenberg said.

Durand didn’t waste its chances. The Panthers scored three times in the first inning and scored in every inning to finish off the five-inning game.

The May portion of the Spartans’ schedule starts Thursday with a game at Prescott. The Spartans will also be on the road Monday at Osceola. They will play at home next Tuesday against Ellsworth. The Spartans’ game that was scheduled to be played on Monday was postponed. It will be made up as a part of a double-header in New Richmond on Thursday, May 8.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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