Panthers senior Montana Platts makes a leaping grab as Westosha Central’s Becca Edwards starts a slide during Friday’s game (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

By Jason Arndt
Editor

With gusty winds and rainfall, scoring runs in Friday’s softball contest between Wilmot Union High School and visiting Westosha Central would not be an easy task, and having two ace pitchers go head-to-head made it tougher.

The challenging contest opened with five scoreless innings, and ended in heartbreak for the Falcons, who lost the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when two Westosha Central outfielders collided to allow the winning run to score for Wilmot.

For Panthers coach Jenny Jacobson, whose team remains unbeaten at 6-0, she acknowledged the game would boil down to the last couple of innings.

“I knew it was going to come down to the very end of the game,” she said. “Both pitchers had a heck of a game.”

The end of the game, however, was not easy for anyone to see.

With the score deadlocked 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Wilmot’s Anna Wischnowski reached base on a single, and scored when Madi Zerr hit a double to left-centerfield.

Falcons’ centerfielder Carlie Odejewski, who tried to make the catch, had the ball pop out as she collided with Rylee Johnson.

As both tumbled to the ground, Wischnowski rounded third base to score the decisive run.

“My heart just sinks seeing that, whenever a girl gets hurt, especially when you see two of them go down,” Jacobson said. “Obviously it came to our advantage, but it was hard to see and I pray for the best for those two girls.”

Pitcher’s duel
In the first five innings, Zerr and Westosha Central junior Olivia Kazumura waged in a pitcher’s duel, tossing scoreless frames until the top of the sixth inning.

Kayla Kerkman, who reached base on an error, scored on a Becca Edwards infield groundout to first base.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kazumura walked the bases loaded, and struck catcher Anna Devall to score Wischnowski and put the contest in a 1-1 stalemate.

Despite getting struck below the knees in the first inning, Zerr continued to throw effectively, with seven strikeouts, two walks while allowing an earned run on three hits.

“The cold helped a little bit by numbing it,” Zerr said about the come backer, which she fielded cleanly. “I work harder when I am hurt and have that feeling of adrenaline.”

Kazumura struck out seven, walked six and allowed two earned runs on five hits.

Zerr, who went 2-for-3, said Kazumura was difficult to hit against.

“We knew she was going to be a tough pitcher we were going to see,” said Zerr.

For the Falcons, who lost their third consecutive game to the Panthers, they dropped to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the SLC.

“They stuck around and they took advantage of an opportunity,” he said. “They are a good team and we are evenly matched teams they got the better of us today.”

 
 

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