The first time that the Whitnall softball team played against Cudahy this season, the Falcons came out with a 4-3 win. This time, the result was drastically different with the Packers earning a 12-5 win in the playoff game played at Cudahy on Monday.
The theme of the day for the Packers was their hitting. They churned out 22 hits.
Their biggest inning was the third, when they turned the tables on the Falcons, erasing a 4-2 deficit and turning it into a 6-4 lead. Katie Immel started things off with a double up the third base line, and Emilie Wiltzius drove her in with a double. She later took third when Erica Bornhofer grounded out, and Tori McCudden drove Wiltzius in on a single to tie the game.
Bailey Kratt followed with a single, and Marissa Nelson’s double brought in two more runs to give Cudahy the lead.
“My team is capable to definitely hit, and we’ve show that today and I’m proud of them,” said Cudahy coach Justin Biever.
Cudahy continued its hitting onslaught in the fourth inning, when Wiltzius hit a double to bring in Immel and subsequently scored on a single from Bornhofer, making it 8-4. Immel, Wiltzius, Bornhofer, and McCudden combined once again at the end of the seventh inning for three hits and three more runs just after Cassie Hall had been batted home by Jenna Jagler, who pitched all seven innings for the Packers.
“It’s one of the best hitting performances of the year,” said Biever. “We definitely have a lineup of hitters. We’re coming together. For us, this is our 20th win of the season, probably the most in school history, and we’re one game away from taking it to Madison.”
Whitnall coach Tom Hickman said, “The last time we faced them we pitched Carolyn (Dudek). When they hit the ball last time, they hit it right at people. Today they kind of jumped it. They have power and the ability to hit the ball pretty much wherever they want.”
The first couple of innings had looked promising for Whitnall despite allowing two runs in the first. In the second, Amber Rueth sparked a two-out rally with a double up the middle. Lizzy Menden followed suit with her own double, which brought Rueth and Renee Caron home to tie the game at 2-2.
Maria James then hit a single and brought Menden home before Dudek hit a double, bringing James home.
But the next tally Whitnall mustered was a consolation run in the seventh.
“We had a great start with the four runs in the second inning, but they hit the ball well and we made some mistakes on defense," Hickman said. "We struggled to get the big hit.”
Wiltzius, a senior standout for Cudahy this season, finished the game with an impressive five hits, four runs batted in, and three runs.
Cudahy move on to play against Plymouth on Thursday for the right to a state tournament berth, while Whitnall will look to build upon its playoff run. The Falcons start four freshman and a sophomore.
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