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Somerset softball plays well, but gets swept at Osceola

Somerset third baseman Racheal Russell awaits the action as an Osceola batter takes a swing at a pitch during the first game of Monday’s double-header in Osceola.

The Somerset and Osceola softball teams played a double-header on the Chieftains’ home field on Monday.

Both games ended up as low-scoring, well-played contests, with the Chieftains pulling out both victories. The first game ended in a 2-0 final and the second game ended at 5-2.

The first game featured sharp pitching and flawless defense. The Spartans were limited to two hits by a young Osceola pitcher who had thrown a no-hitter against Durand in her previous outing. Somerset pitcher Rachel Cloutier was just as effective, throwing a four-hitter.

“The defense made some great plays behind Rachel,” said Spartan coach Cory Lindenberg. “That was the best defensive game we played all year.”

One of the best plays came in the first inning. An Osceola runner tried to score from third on a grounder to shortstop. Spartan shortstop Katie Berg fired to the plate, where catcher Abbie Rivard applied the tag for the out.

Osceola got its runs in the third inning on two walks and a two-run single.

Cloutier also pitched the second game, running into trouble in the first inning when she gave up four runs.

The Spartans fought back, getting runs in the first and second innings. Ally Wittstock walked to lead off the first inning, scoring on Racheal Russell’s hit. Autumn Wilson singled and scored on a Megan Starry single for the run in the second inning.

Wilson led the team with two hits in the game. The Spartans totaled seven hits.

Lindenberg keeps a notecard during each game of positives and negatives to discuss with his players following the game. He said there was a long list of positives from the double-header, with very few negatives.


The Spartans got bunted into submission as they struggled to handle Prescott’s small-ball attack last Thursday. The Spartans gave up eight runs in the first three innings, mostly due to five errors. The Spartans outplayed the Cardinals the rest of the way, but they’d dug too big a hole to recover from in the 8-2 loss.

“In the first three innings, we didn’t come ready to play,” Lindenberg said. “Once we settled down, it was a nice, tight ball game the rest of the way.”

Cloutier’s pitching was deserving of a better fate in this game. She kept the Cards hitting the ball on the ground and she was around the plate the whole game. She recorded five strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter.

Somerset got its first run in the fifth inning. Meghan Wolner led off with a double and she scored on Megan Starry’s double. Wolner also scored for the Spartans in the seventh inning. She led off with a walk and later scored on Jocelyn Rivard’s single.

Lindenberg said the Spartans showed fortitude in not giving up after falling behind early. He said the offense isn’t far away from putting together a big game.

“We’ve been hitting the ball well all year. We’re just missing that clutch hit,” he said.

Postponements have backlogged the Spartan schedule and they are facing a busy stretch of games in the upcoming weeks. On Thursday, the Spartans will be playing a double-header at New Richmond. The Spartans will play a non-conference game at St. Croix Central on Friday. This game will help determine the bottom half of the bracket for the upcoming Division 3 regional tournament.

Next week starts with the Spartans hosting Durand on Monday. The Spartans will also be at home next Tuesday, with winless Amery as the opposition.

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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