Softball: Eagles down Ellsworth, fall to Cochrane-Fountain City
PEPIN, WIS. - It seemed like everything fourth-ranked (Division 4) Pepin-Alma hit in the first three innings Saturday was headed directly for an Ellsworth fielder.
But in the fourth inning, the Eagles busted out for three runs and tallied runs in each of the next two innings to secure a 6-2 victory against the 14th-ranked (Division 2) Panthers during the first round of the Pepin Tournament.
"It was just a matter of keeping what you're doing and not getting frustrated," Pepin-Alma head coach Matt Bellerive said. "We hit the ball hard; we just couldn't find a gap."
Junior Breanna Ellison battled on the mound for the Eagles (14-2, 12-0 Dunn-St. Croix), throwing all seven innings and allowing two earned runs on 11 hits and one walk. She also provided some offense, going 2-for-2 with two RBI at the plate. Sophomore Cori Terpstra went 1-for-2 with a double and sophomore Allie Laehn was 2-for-3 with two RBI in the win.
Ellsworth was led by senior Mariah Diercks, who finished 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Senior Taylor Nelson was 2-for-4 with a run and junior Morgan Christopherson went 2-for-4 as well.
The Panthers got the scoring going right away with a run in the first inning courtesy of a Diercks double to score senior Halle Hatch.
Pepin-Alma remained scoreless until the fourth inning, taking advantage of some control issues by Hatch to grab the lead for good.
Junior Ali Murray was hit by a pitch to start the rally and Ellison singled to put runners on first and second with one out. After a line out to shortstop, Terpstra walked to load the bases and senior Katie Kujak walked to tie the game at 1-1. Then, Laehn singled to help the Eagles take a 3-1 lead.
The Panthers countered with a run in the fifth inning as Diercks knocked in Nelson with a base hit to pull within 3-2.
Sophomore Tana Prokosch got the Eagles started again in the bottom of the fifth inning with a single out of the nine spot in the order and later in the inning, Ellison singled in Prokosch and senior Sophia Reidt to put Pepin-Alma up 5-2.
"The bottom of our order has been coming through," Bellerive said.
The Eagles' sixth run came on an error in the sixth inning to score Terpstra.
Ellison struggled with control in the early innings, falling behind in the count to numerous hitters, but she found a groove in the sixth and seventh innings. She kept Ellsworth from getting a runner past second base in the final two innings and allowed just one hit in each inning.
"As the game gets going, she seems to get stronger and stronger," Bellerive said.
In the championship game of the tournament, Pepin-Alma played fifth-ranked (Division 4) Cochrane-Fountain City and fell 7-4 in a game Bellerive said will decide the No. 1 seed in their section.
The Pirates' three home runs were the difference in the game.
Murray finished 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base for the Eagles in the loss. Reidt was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base.
Becca Bagniewski went 2-for-3 with two home runs to lead C-FC (12-0, 10-0 Dairyland) and Mikahla Murphy was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
Ellsworth defeated Durand 11-5 in the third place game. The Panthers play on the road Monday against Prescott.
The Eagles play at Mondovi Monday and section seeding will also take place Monday.