Olivia Klean smashes a pitch in last week’s 5-3 regional final victory over Burlington.

Thursday’s sectional final set for 4:30

By Jason Arndt

For the first time since 2010, the WIAA Division 1 sectional softball final pits Kenosha County rivals Westosha Central and Wilmot Union against each other.

The meeting comes after both squads won their sectional semifinal contests on Tuesday.

First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at Burlington.

The clash comes in a season where the rivals split the regular season series, and according to both coaches, they knew it would happen.

“Its a rivalry, they are a good team and I wasn’t surprised that they were going to be there,” said Falcons co-coach Tom Lampe, whose team lost to Wilmot for the first time in five years this season.

“Hopefully, we are going to start a new streak,” said Lampe after his team edged No. 4 Fort Atkinson 5-1 in Tuesday’s sectional semifinal.

Meanwhile, Panthers coach Jenny Jacobson expected both teams to meet for a third time, and looks forward to it.

“I expected it and I am excited,” Jacobson said following the Panthers’ 11-8 decision against No. 3 Janesville Parker.

In the 2010 contest, Wilmot defeated Westosha Central 2-1, but lost in the opening round of the state championship series to Homestead 1-0.

No. 1 seed Westosha Central is 21-5, while the No. 2 seed Panthers stand at 19-4.

Westosha Central 5, Fort Atkinson 1
With pitcher Alyssa Hrncar clinging to a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning, the Falcons plated three runs, courtesy of a two-out rally.

Senior Olivia Klean sparked the rally with a single and scored on a Kira Mickelson double the next at-bat.

From there, senior Carrie Weis knocked in Mickelson, which sent sophomore Becca Edwards to the plate, where she doubled in Weis.

“They just settled in and drove the ball hard, what I was most proud of in that inning was that was all done with two outs,” Lampe said. That was the turning point when they got all of those runs.”

Mickelson went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI while Weis and Edwards had a hit apiece.

The three-run cushion gave Hrncar, who struck out seven through seven innings, insurance as she coasted to another victory.

Lampe credited Hrncar for making immediate adjustments to the strike zone.

“She hit the corners and she learned what the umpire was giving her,” he said. “She stayed in it and got strikeouts when she needed to.”

Furthermore, Lampe commended the defensive play of Weis and senior Sarai Roberts, both of whom made key outfield snags.

In addition to seven strikeouts, Hrncar allowed one earned run on four hits, and walked one hitter.

Taking the loss for No. 4 seeded Fort Atkinson was Kat Brandl, who had a walk and strikeout, but allowed four earned runs on seven hits.

Wilmot 11, Janesville Craig 8
Wilmot belted six home runs to defeat No. 3 seed Janesville Craig.

With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, senior Taylor Danielson, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, hit a solo home run to mark the first of six home runs.

After Janesville posted two runs in the top of the second inning, the Panthers faced a 2-1 deficit before pounding three consecutive home runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Starting with senior Riley Regnier, who hit two of the six home runs, junior Annelise Devall followed up with one of her own, before junior Hayli Richards capped off the inning with another home run.

Like Regnier, Richards also hit two home runs, finishing with a 1-for-3 performance.

In the next frame, seniors Kalyssa Koehn and Sarah Hutchinson both advanced on fielder’s choice plays, sending Regnier to the plate, where she hit a three-run home run.

The Panthers posted another run in the fourth inning, courtesy of a Danielson single, which plated sophomore Madison Zerr, who also singled.

Devall, who went 2-for-3 with four RBI, added her second home run in the fifth inning, plating Hutchinson and Regnier.

Jacobson believes her team has developed a stronger vision at the plate.

“They are seeing the ball really well, Sarah almost hit one over, too, they are being patient at the plate,” she said. “Their approach is so much better than at the beginning of the year and it is showing.”

Craig, however, responded with a six-run sixth inning.

Hutchinson, who allowed eight earned runs, remained calm, according to Jacobson.

“They were bloop singles, but she had her confidence, and she always does,” Jacobson said. “I went out there for a chat and she calmed down, and said ‘I am fine, I got this.”

But, for Craig, it was too little, too late.


1 Comment

  1. Bridgette Monroe Glass says:

    Let’s Go Wilmot!!!

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