Wilmot senior Kalyssa Koehn receives a hug from her teammates after she made the final out in the Panthers’ 2-1 win against Oak Creek. With the win, Wilmot returns to the WIAA Division 1 state championship game for the first time since 2011.

In a one-run game, every little detail counts, including wild pitches, strong defense and a strong focus of pitching.

That was the scenario in the WIAA Division 1 state softball semifinal, where Wilmot Union High School edged Oak Creek 2-1, thanks to a Knights’ Becca Oleczinak wild pitch to score Panthers senior Riley Regnier from third base in the top of the seventh inning.

The Regnier run was the eventual game-winner as senior Sarah Hutchinson shut down Oak Creek in the bottom of the seventh inning, where senior Kalyssa Koehn made three consecutive putouts.

Koehn, admittedly excited, stayed composed as she made the final out on a popup.

“I knew it was coming to me, I just had to stay calm, I was a bit excited, but just had to stay calm,” Koehn said.

Wilmot, responsible for the Knights’ only two losses of the season, improved to 24-4 overall and won its 16th straight game.

The win, however, did not come easy as the Panthers faced a 1-0 deficit entering the top of the fifth inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, Wilmot senior Sarah Hutchinson led off with single, and replaced by freshman courtesy runner Kenzi Ketterhagen.

After Ketterhagen stole second base, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly, she scored on a junior Hayli Richards single.

Ketterhagen, noting her fleet-footed speed, drew an appeal from Oak Creek when she moved to third base, but the umpires denied.

In the top of the seventh inning, Regnier started with a double and later moved to third base on a wild pitch.

Then, Oleczinak threw another wild pitch, which Regnier scored on.

“It was a small ball kind of game, both pitchers did a heck of a job,” said Wilmot coach Jenny Jacobson.

Hutchinson, whose only run allowed came on an Oleczinak solo home run, struck out two, walked one and held Oak Creek to three hits.

For Oleczinak, she allowed two earned runs, walked two and struck out one through seven innings.

Hutchinson, who handed Oak Creek its first loss of the season, took what she learned from the first contest.

“We had played them previously, so I was definitely thinking about what had worked before, pitches that I should keep away from people,” she said. “Outside, they crushed the ball, so I was definitely focused on staying high and in.”

Koehn agreed, adding her pitcher produced a stellar outing in the tight contest.

“I think everything counts in a game like this,” Koehn said. “She knew what she had to pitch to different batters and I think she did a great job of it.”

With the Panthers’ win, they advanced to the state title game for the first time since 2011, when Wilmot dropped a 2-1 decision to Stevens Point.

 

 
 

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