Whitnall softball team falls to Hawks, bounces back to top Rockets

Whitnall rallies after tough defeat

May 13, 2014

After a disappointing 2-0 loss to Greenfield on May 8, the Whitnall softball team needed a boost to get back into the Woodland Conference East Division race.

The Falcons gave themselves a huge lift with a 4-2 triumph over South Milwaukee on May 9 behind two-run singles from Sierra Grubor and Sarah Bauer.

The victory improved Whitnall to 10-2 in Woodland Conference action, including 6-2 in the East Division, one game behind South Milwaukee and Greenfield heading into this week.

"We didn't take care of business in our first game against the Rockets (a 10-8 loss)," said head coach Tom Hickman. "As a team, we talked at the beginning of the year about fighting it out with Greenfield and South Milwaukee.

"We knew we needed to go 3-1 against those teams to feel good about our chances at a conference title. We now need some help if we're going to have a shot at the crown this year."

The first four innings of the South Milwaukee game last week were scoreless, but in the top of the fifth, Bauer singled to left field and was bunted to second. Valeri Nowak drew a two-out walk and both runners moved up on a passed ball.

Grubor lined a pitch to center field to score Bauer and Abing and put Whitnall ahead 2-0.

In the sixth, Sydney Opdahl singled and Renee Caron doubled to set up Bauer, who singled in both runs to make it 4-0.

The Rockets came back with two in the bottom of the sixth, but starter Alex Cimler struck out Alyssa Sadowski to end the inning.

Lara Stachowski closed out the game in the seventh, allowing a single but retiring three straight, two by strikeout.

One night earlier, the Falcons and Greenfield engaged in a classic pitcher's duel between Cimler and Bella Matthias.

Both pitchers allowed just two hits, with Cimler striking out nine and walking two and Matthias fanning 14 and walking none.

"After playing some teams with lower pitching abilities, it is tough to ramp up to the speed that Bella brings," Hickman said. "You have to give her the credit; she was dominant the entire game."

In the fourth, the Hawks scored on a single by Lexi Vilkoski and a sacrifice fly from Kristin Kaifesh for a 2-0 lead.

"Cimler only had five runners all game, but in the fourth, three of them reached consecutively," Hickman said, "and that was the ball game."

Whitnall threatened in the sixth, putting runners at the corners with one out, but Matthias ended the inning with a double play.

Whitnall won three games at the May 10 Oconomowoc Invitational, downing Madison East 10-0, Homestead 11-0 and Madison LaFollette 8-2.

Stachowski pitched the shutout against East; then Bauer blanked Homestead, and Cimler topped LaFollette.

Stachowski belted a two-run home run against East and finished with five hits.

On May 6, Whitnall swept Brown Deer 11-0 and 18-0. In the first game, Nowak collected two hits and five runs batted in, while Cimler had two hits and two RBIs and Liz Thon two hits, including a home run, and three RBIs.

Bauer hurled another one-hitter with 12 strikeouts in the second game.

The Falcons swept past St. Francis 8-1 and 18-1 on May 5.

The Falcons improved to 17-3 on the season. They welcome Pewaukee at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, and Shorewood for a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16, to close out the Woodland season.

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