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New Richmond softball team takes playoff loss hard

Tiger senior catcher Sydney Jones fires the ball to second base after Baldwin-Woodville scored a run in the regional final game.1 / 3
New Richmond second baseman Kate Johnson attempts to turn a double play after getting a forceout against Baldwin-Woodville.2 / 3
New Richmond’s Maddie Krumm is tagged out trying to score on a hit in the Tigers’ 6-3 playoff win over Altoona. 3 / 3

For the New Richmond girls softball team, Thursday marked the end of an era.

The Tigers knew they were underdogs in the WIAA Division 2 regional final game, facing one of the top pitchers in the state in Baldwin-Woodville’s Abby Klopp. The Tigers hoped for a better showing in their finale, losing to the Blackhawks 11-0. The game ended the high school careers of a group of seniors who have spent most of their high school careers playing at the varsity level.

“It was definitely tough for them,” Tiger coach Emily Dabrowski said of seeing the anguish her team went through following the game. “They’ve played together for so long. They’re a very close-knit team.”

The Tigers end the season with a 14-9 record.

In the first inning the Tigers didn’t look overmatched against Klopp, who has pitched B-W to a 20-1 record heading into this week’s sectional tournament. Sydney Kannel was able to single to leftfield in the first inning for the Tigers.

The Blackhawks struck back with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Hannah Alme homered for B-W. That hit didn’t seem to rattle the Tigers. Klopp was the next B-W hitter and she roped a sinking liner to leftfield. Tiger senior Callie Jirik made an outstanding shoestring catch to get the out. The next hitter sent another liner toward Jirik. This time, the eye-level hit glanced off Jirik’s glove for a three-base error. Before the Tigers could get the third out, B-W had scored four more runs.

“You can’t really come back from (a 5-0 deficit against Klopp),” Dabrowski said. “It should have been a close game. We definitely deserved to be there.”

The Tigers managed just one more hit in the game, a bunt single by Jirik in the third inning.

To reach the regional final, the Tigers had to beat a tenacious Altoona team last Thursday, 6-3, at the New Richmond High School field. The Tigers had to rally from a 3-1 deficit to get the win.

It took a five-run fifth inning to get the Tigers the win. The Tigers loaded the bases on a hit by Maddie Krumm, a walk by Kate Johnson and a single by Lexi Derrick. Sydney Kannel quickly tied the score with a two-run double. Kaitlynn Belisle followed with a two-run single to give the Tigers the lead. The final run came home on a single from Jirik.

Dabrowski said this game had the feel of a playoff game, with a great deal of intensity and both teams playing extremely well in field.

“That was a fun one. The girls really buckled down and played great defense,” Dabrowski said.

Derrick led the team with three hits in the win.

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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