Riley Regnier receives a greeting from her Wilmot teammates at home plate after she hit a home run against Westosha Central May 11 (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

By Jason Arndt

After facing Westosha Central High School ace Alyssa Hrncar for more than three seasons, the surging Wilmot softball team finally had an answer on May 11, when the Panthers pounded out 19 hits to win 12-3.

With the 12-3 victory, the Panthers extended their win streak to seven games and halted a five-year losing streak to the Kenosha County rival Falcons, who had won the previous 15 meetings.

The scorching Panthers, according to coach Jennifer Jacobson, had every intention of ending the drought against their rivals.

“I am so proud of this team of what we have become, we really work as one now,” she said. “I knew that we could beat them down the road and we did it.”

Wilmot, which has lost every meeting against Hrncar, made an immediate statement with seven runs in the first three innings.

Hrncar, who took an uncharacteristic loss, allowed 12 runs on 19 hits, struck out three and walked two through seven innings.

Midway through the contest, Hrncar – known for her poise and composure – had to take a step away from the pitcher’s circle to regain focus.

Westosha Central co-coach Tom Lampe, who tipped his cap to the Panthers, believes Hrncar can rebound from one of the toughest outings in her career.

“She has bounced back in the past, and she can bounce back now, no question about it,” said Lampe. “It is one game of many for her.”

“They were just swinging that bat well, they were just waiting for that pitch and driving the ball, you got to give them credit,” Lampe said.

In the three-run first inning, sophomore Haley Lamberson (2-for-5, run, two RBI) and senior Taylor Danielson (2-for-5, two runs, two RBI) scored on a double by Sarah Hutchinson (2-for-4, run, two RBI), who later scored herself to cap off the rally.

Wilmot added three more in the following inning, where Danielson hit a two-run triple to score juniors Hayli Richards and Montana Platts (2-for-5, run).

Koehn, who went 2-for-5, then singled in Danielson to give the Panthers a 6-0 edge entering the bottom of the second.

The Falcons, however, cut the Panthers lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the second inning, courtesy of a junior Andrea Edquist two-run home run (1-for-3), which plated senior Kira Mickelson (2-for-3).

Despite the Falcons’ push, the Panthers continued to hit, adding another run in the top of the third inning, two in the fourth before a three-run sixth inning.

Panthers’ senior Riley Regnier, who went 4-for-5 with a double, knocked in two of her three runs on a sixth inning home run.

According to Regnier, the Panthers hitters stayed aggressive, noting they knew what to expect against the often flawless Hrncar.

“We were expecting first pitch strikes and we knew what was coming,” said Regnier.

Koehn, who said Hrncar did not pitch any differently, agreed.

“I don’t think I saw any difference, honestly, we all just caught up to her by playing her throughout the years,” said Koehn.

Meanwhile, for the Panthers, Hutchinson picked up the win with a seven-inning complete game, where she allowed three earned runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out one.

Hutchinson, noting the Falcons’ potent offense, focused on her command in the contest.

“I was really just focusing on keeping the ball down, they have good hitters,” she said.

Koehn credited Hutchinson for her continuous improvement through the season.

“(Sarah) has been doing phenomenal this whole entire year, every game, she gets better and better,” said Koehn.

Wilmot, which jumped to 14-4 (10-2 Southern Lakes Conference), also received a contribution from junior Annalise Devall (3-for-4, two runs, two doubles, RBI).

Following the loss, the Falcons dropped to 16-3, but are still in sole possession of first place in the SLC at 12-1.


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