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FEATURED STORY
Hodags Softball falls to Mosinee 11-4
By Hodagsports.com Staff - Posted on 04/19/2017
Photo By HodagSports.com Staff
The Rhinelander High School softball team stuck around with the reigning Great Northern Conference champions, Mosinee for most of the game on Tuesday but Hodag errors and big hits from the Indians pushed them ahead 11-4 at Pioneer Park.

There was no doubt why Mosinee softball has earned the past eight GNC titles, and showed they did not plan on leaving the top of the conference anytime soon. The Indians cashed in on four big hits in the fifth, scoring five runs. Mosinee added five more in the seventh to cruise to a seven-run victory.

Rhinelander not only dropped their first GNC contest of the year (2-1 GNC), but they lost senior ace Ali Schickert in the final frame. It appeared to be a right knee injury in which she did not return and it is unknown how severe the injuries are at this time.

The Hodags played in arguably one of their most inconsistent defense games of the year, where they committed seven errors. Three of those errors led to the Indians scoring four runs. Mosinee also took advantage of a walk with the bases loaded, as well as a wild pitch to add two more runs.

But Rhinelander didn't back down, and battled offensively. The Hodags finished the afternoon with nine hits and rallied back and were only down two after six innings.

The Indians got on board in the second frame when Brooke Hintz scored on two Rhinelander errors with one out. Schickert was able to get the final two outs, the first a strikeout, and second a grounded right back to the circle. 

RHS had a chance to add runs at the bottom of the second, when Erica Counter hit a standup double to right center gap. Hope Wissbroecker singled with a hard shot between third and short to place runners on corners. But the Hodags left the two base runners stranded on a ground out to end the inning.

Schickert and the Hodags' defense went three-up-three-down in the third, but couldn’t take advantage and went without a base runner at the bottom of the frame. Schickert had a big fourth frame where she charted three strikeouts, with one walk in between. 

Makayla Kuester tried to get momentum swinging in the Rhinelander's favor, after leading off with a solo home-run to center, but the next two batters grounded out and the final batter struck out looking.

And the Indians would rally right back in the top of the fifth. Miranda Rux started with a slow roller to third for an infield single. Brooke Wierzbanowski would then reach on a bunt when things went downhill for Rhinelander's infield.
 
Two Mosinee runs would score after an overthrow to third base. McKayla Garski would follow with an RBI single to center. Garski advanced into scoring position after a bobbled ball in the outfield. A walk from Schickert loaded the bases, and a wild pitch would allow two more runs to come in, putting the Indians ahead 6-1.

But the game was far out of reach, and the Hodags once against pushed right back with momentum of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Wissbroecker and Molly Wagler hit singles to get on to start. Mikayla Evenstad had a single bunt to load the bases.

Ivy Packard followed with a bases-loaded sacrifice bunt to score Wissbroecker. Stephanie Kuester would then connect on a two-RBI double to right center to bring the Hodags within two at 4-6. But Makayla Kuester ripped a line drive to shortstop, that Wierzbanowski caught and flipped to second for a double play to end the inning and to avoid any more runs. 

Another three-up-three down sixth inning helped the Hodags, and they looked to take advantage but came up empty handed. Lindsay Juedes walked and stole second. Counter followed with a single to right field. Coach D.J. DeMeyer sent Juedes home where she was tagged out. And Wissbroecker grounded out to leave Counter stranded.

The Indians would come up with another big inning in the seventh which started with a walk and followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to put Mosinee ahead 8-4. And on the next play, Janel Logsdon hit a roller just left of the circle where Schickert appeared to slip getting the grounder. Schickert left the game, and Stephanie Kuester took over at the mound.

Rux would connect on a two-RBI double to put the Indians ahead 11-4, where they would hold the Hodags off the board at their last at bat. 

Schickert recorded the loss for Rhinelander after 6 1/3 innings of work. She allowed five earned runs on seven hits and added eight strikeouts and six walks.

The Hodags will get back on the diamond on Thursday when they travel to Antigo for another tough GNC contest and will host Northland Pines on Monday night at Pioneer Park.




Franson leads Hodags in 5-1 win over Mosinee
By Hodagsports.com Staff - Posted on 04/19/2017
Photo By HodagSports.com Staff
The Rhinelander High School girls' soccer team remain perfect in the Great Northern Conference standings after earning a 5-1 victory over Mosinee on Tuesday night at Mike Webster Stadium. Junior Alayna Franson led the Hodags' offense with two goals and three assists. Rhinelander advanced to 4-0 in the GNC and are 4-2 overall.

RHS gave up only one goal on the night, on a penalty kick in the first half due to a hand ball in the box. But the Hodags' controlled the tempo and would take a 3-1 lead at the break, and tallied two more goals in the second half. Sydney Zettler and Albiona Sabani each recorded a goal and an assist. And Izzy Haverkampf also added a goal on the night.

It took less than four minutes for Franson to record her first assist of the night when she crossed the ball to the middle where Haverkampf found the back of the net and gave Rhinelander an early 1-0 lead.

Despite the Hodags' controlling the ball the entire match, the Indians would cash in on one of their few opportunities at the net in the 16th minute. Rhinelanders' defense was called for a handball in the Hodags' 18-yard box after a corner kick.
 
Senior forward Michelle Weinberg delivered the PK to the bottom left corner passed senior goalie Abby Oettinger for Mosinee's only goal of the night.

It would take the Hodags' over 25 minutes to add a second goal, but they had several good looks on goal. Sabani and Franson each had shots right at the Indians keeper. And Kenedy Van Zile missed a shot inside the goal box that went left of the post.

Rhinelander would strike again in the 30th minute when Franson Found Zettler in the middle of Mosinee's defense on a give-and-go. Zettler scored on a shot a few yards into the 18-yard box.

And with just under three minutes left in the first-half, Zettler returned the favor and found Franson open on slice inside. Franson finished the play and connected on her first goal of the night, just outside the six-yard box.

In the 51st minute, the Hodags' would score their first goal of the second half. This time Sabani delivered a long pass up the sideline to Franson, who used her speed to get passed the defense and connect on a shot to the bottom left corner inside the 18.
 
And Rhinelander's final goal of the night came in the 75th minute, when Franson assisted Sabani to give RHS a four-goal conference win.

Although a convincing win on paper, the Hodags' had several opportunities to add to their lead, especially in the second half. Early in the second, Zettler took a shot around the 18-yard box that sailed up over the crossbar. And a few minutes later Sabani had a shot right at Mosinee's keeper.

Later in the second half, freshman midfielder Maddie Losch and sophomore Gwen Frederickson both had quality looks at the night on shots 25-yards back. And Haverkampf had a chance to score another goal with under three minutes remaining on a shot 12-yards back.  

The Hodags' defense was able limit the Indians to four total shots on the night, two on frame. Mosinee nearly scored a second goal of the match after a deep shot was delivered and deflected off a Hodag defender, nearly making an own-goal. Luckily the ball missed just right of the goal post.

Rhinelander finished the night with 16 corner kicks, but were unable to convert on any of them. The Hodags tallied 36 total shots on the night, putting 23 on goal. Oettinger picked up the win with one save.

The Hodags will be back on the pitch Thursday night for another GNC showdown. Rhinelander will be hosting Ashland, who are also undefeated in the conference. The Oredockers also broke RHS's 49-GNC winning streak last season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00PM at Mike Webster Stadium.




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