Westosha Central defeated visiting Burlington 5-3 Friday to win the WIAA Division 1 regional title (Jason Arndt/The Report).

No. 1 Westosha Central hosts No. 4 Fort Atkinson Tuesday

By Jason Arndt

Against No. 1 seed Westosha Central High School, visiting Burlington had a two-run lead after the first inning of Friday’s WIAA Division 1 regional final, but the Falcons capitalized on early fielding blunders by Burlington to come away with a 5-3 victory.

With Friday’s win, Westosha Central hosts No. 4 Fort Atkinson in the sectional semifinal on Tuesday.

The No. 9 seeded Demons, who defeated No. 8 Oregon Thursday, committed five fielding errors.

Of the five errors, three came in the bottom of the first inning, which led to three Falcon runs.

Burlington coach Gary Caliva, whose team concludes its season at 10-14, attributed the bottom of the first inning to rattled nerves.

“I think just a little bit of nerves at the beginning of the game, other than that, I think they played a well enough game,” said Caliva. “I am extremely proud of these kids the way they played and hung in this game.”

Senior Alyssa Hrncar, who struck out seven, walked two and allowed three earned runs on seven hits through five innings picked up the win for Westosha Central.

Meanwhile, for Burlington, Josie Klein threw six innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits to take the loss.

Although Klein struck out one hitter, she coaxed Westosha Central into several ground balls, courtesy of one of her pitches.

“She was throwing her drop ball and getting effective,” said Falcons’ co-coach Tom Lampe. “We were swinging at it, not getting deep in the count.”

In the opening frame, Burlington jumped to a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a Kya Kafar double to score Maddie Berezowitz, who hit a leadoff single.

Pitcher Josie Klein, who advanced on a hit by pitch, later scored on a Hrncar wild pitch to give the Demons a 2-0 edge.

However, in the bottom of the first inning, the Falcons’ top three hitters scored after the Demons committed a series of errors.

Scoring for Westosha Central were Kayla Kerkman, Olivia Klean and Rylee Johnson, who served as Kira Mickelson’s courtesy runner to give the Falcons a 3-2 lead.

Westosha Central added a run in the third and fourth innings.

Mickelson, who led off the bottom of the third inning, scored on a fielding error.

Olivia Kazumura singled to start the fourth inning and Alex Kelly, who ran for Kazumura, scored on a Klean groundout to pull the Falcons ahead 5-2.

Burlington, however, responded in the top of the fifth inning, where Alexis Lois hit a run-scoring single to plate Gracie Peterson, who also singled.

Entering the sixth inning, with the Falcons ahead 5-3, Kazumura moved to the pitcher’s circle where she tossed two scoreless frames to secure the win.

According to Lampe, whose team improved to 20-5, patience is crucial in Tuesday’s clash with Fort Atkinson.

“We are going to have to be more patient at the plate, there is no doubt about that,” he said.

Kerkman, who went 2-for-3, led the Falcon offense.

Picking up two hits each for Burlington were Berezowitz (2-for-4), Kafar (2-for-4) and Lois (2-for-4).


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