Falcons senior Becca Edwards awaits a pitch from Wilmot pitcher Madi Zerr during a Southern Lakes Conference Monday. Edwards, who went 2-for-4, hit a decisive home run in the top of the fifth inning for the Falcons (Jason Arndt/The Report)

Falcons avenge early-season loss

By Jason Arndt
Staff Writer

Against a scorching Wilmot Union High School softball squad, Westosha Central’s Olivia Kazumura had to bring her best effort in the pitcher’s circle, where she went head-to-head with the Panthers’ Madi Zerr on Monday in Wilmot.

The Panthers, winners of their last nine games, did what they could with whatever Kazumura was giving them.

Kazumura, however, remained focused and limited the Panthers to one hit and walked two through seven innings to come away with a 2-1 win. She finished with five strikeouts and allowed an earned run.

Meanwhile, for Zerr, she stayed with Kazumura, allowing one earned run on six hits, walking two along with six strikeouts.

The pitcher’s duel, according to Falcons’ co-coach Lampe, showed each hurler took advantage of the strike zone.

“Both pitchers were taking advantage of the strike zone,” Lampe said.

With the win, the Falcons snapped the Panthers’ nine-game winning streak and ended their three-game skid.

As for the Panthers, coach Jenny Jacobson said it was a heartbreaking loss for Zerr, who had the better end in the first meeting between both teams in an April 3 win at Westosha Central.

“She pitched her heart out and it sucks,” Jacobson said.

The Panthers’ loss boiled down to two plays, a fielding error in the top of the second inning and a solo blast from Westosha Central senior Becca Edwards.

Falcons strike first
In the top of the second inning, Falcons’ junior Carlie Odejewski took a two-out walk from Zerr and scored on a fielding error after a single by Edwards.

Three innings later, Edwards extended the Falcons’ lead to 2-0 on a home run to dead center field.

Edwards, who went 2-for-4, said she expected a pitch in the zone after getting ahead in the count.

“It was 2-0, so I was expecting the pitch to be in the zone and it was, so I just swung hard,” Edwards said.

The Panthers, however, trimmed their deficit in the bottom of the fifth.

Kazumura held the Panthers without a hit through the first four innings until the bottom of the fifth when Wilmot senior Riley Alexander doubled in Anna Wischnowski, who led off with a walk.

Kazumura kept her composure even as the Panthers’ Sami Christiansen worked the count full in the next at bat, but the senior eventually got the opposing hitter to fly out to center field.

“She just really focused on throwing strikes and getting ahead of the count,” Edwards said on Kazumura’s performance. “It really showed today and she pitched well.”

Lampe agreed, adding Kazumura limited her mistakes, including free passes.

“She had two walks and no hit batters, that is big,” Lampe said. “Olivia gave up only one hit the entire game.”

Looking ahead
The Falcons’ win moved them into second place in Southern Lakes Conference play at 7-4 (9-8 overall), just 1.5 games behind first-place Elkhorn, which was sitting at 8-2.

“I think this was a good turning point for us,” Edwards said.

Wilmot, meanwhile, dropped into a third-place tie with Waterford at 5-3 and 10-5 overall.

“We have to get better. We have a tough next week and those are the games that matter and we can’t give up,” Jacobson said.


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