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New Richmond softball pushes past Osceola, 12-7

New Richmond senior second baseman Avery Patraw keeps a close eye on the action as an Amery batter connects with a pitch during last Thursday's double-header hosted by the Tigers. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

The New Richmond softball team needed something good to happen. That goodness came last Friday.

The Tigers shook off an eight-game losing streak to win at Osceola, 12-7. This was the Tigers' second win of the season and both have come in Middle Border Conference games.

To be successful, the Tigers are looking for a group effort in creating success. That happened in Friday's win. It starts with pitching. Freshman Leah DeYoung worked the first four innings in the circle. Senior Madeline Hatch worked the final three innings and saved DeYoung's victory.

The offensive production also was a team effort. Bailey Williams delivered three hits, including a pair of doubles. Hatch also produced three hits. DeYoung and Lorin Bauer, the top two hitters in the Tiger batting order, both had two hits.

"Lorin's been great leading off, she's seeing the ball really well," said Tiger coach Lynzi Knudtson. "She had a double off a changeup."

Knudtson said all the Tigers adjusted well to hit the changeups thrown by the Osceola pitcher. She said the Tigers are normally better at hitting fastballs, but thought the team showed improved discipline by waiting on the changeups.

The Tigers have had a set lineup for several straight games. Knudtson said that continuity has really had a settling effect on the defense. She said the defense has clicked and gotten comfortable in their positions. She said senior Avery Patraw has solidified the team's need for a second baseman, including turning a pair of double-headers last week.

There have been several games lately where the Tigers have been competitive. The Tigers hosted Amery in a double-header last Thursday. The first game was an excellent battle that stretched into extra innings, where Amery won, 5-3. The disappointment of the opening loss showed in the second game, which the Tigers lost 11-0.

Bauer and Patraw led the offense in the opening game. Bauer got the Tigers a quick 1-0 lead in the game. She tripled to lead off the bottom of the first inning, then scored on a groundout. Bauer would also double later in the game. Patraw and Jade Williams both had two hits in the opener. DeYoung had the Tigers' only hit of the second game.

The Tigers complete their regular season schedule this week with three MBC dates. The Tigers will play at Baldwin-Woodville on Tuesday. New Richmond's final home game of the regular season happens Thursday when the Tigers host St. Croix Central. The regular season ends with a game at Prescott on Friday.

The WIAA tournament series begins next Tuesday, with the Tigers competing in Division 2 this season. Seeding for the regional tournament bracket is scheduled for completion this Wednesday. The Tigers will play in the opening round of regional action next Tuesday.

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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