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FEATURED STORY
RHS Softball knocked-off by Logan in Regionals
By Cassie Krueger - Posted on 05/30/2016
Photo By *
The Rhinelander High School softball team played in their final game of the 2016 season when they fell 7-4 to defending WIAA Division 2 champions, La Crosse Logan on the road in the regional finals. The Hodags were not able to keep up against ace pitcher Jordyn Kleman, who finished with 14 strikeouts.

The weather conditions, like RHS’s previous contest, were not ideal when the Hodags had to battle Kleman as well as the rain. The heavy rain in the bottom of the third forced a rain delay in WIAA Division 2 regional championship game.

RHS battled their way back in the sixth and seventh frame, but it was not enough to catch up to Logan who pounded out four runs in the fourth frame, after a 70 minute rain delay. La Crosse went on and advanced to their third consecutive sectional.

The Rangers who are ranked first in Wisconsin by the coaches and seeded second in the sectional were able to get off to a strong start and held a 2-0 lead, but Rhinelander came back to tie the game as the rain started to increase.

As the rain picked up, so did the Hodag's offense in the fourth. Ivy Packard led off with a single bunt. She also finished with three of Rhinelander's four hits on the night. Lindsay Juedes drew a walk to follow. And Packard was able to score on a Ranger error. Senior Katie Detert walked with no outs.

Juedes then was then able to score when Detert was in a rundown trying to steal second. The Hodags charted a run on the play, and Detert was safe going back to first. But that would be all the damage RHS would produce before the delay.

The umpires and coaches talked it over, and they decided to pull the players due to the rain and wait it out. Just over an hour of waiting around, both teams got back to action.

It wouldn't take La Crosse long to regain their early lead when clouds broke open and there was sunny sky just after 7:00PM. Catcher Lucy Wiggert connected on Ali Schickert's first pitch back in the circle after the delay for a single down the middle. And an error would then place runners at second and third.

Kleman followed with an infield hit to bring in a run, which would be one of her three hits on the night. A walk then loaded the bases. And the Rangers would take advantage of two more RHS errors for a 6-2 lead.

In the fifth Kleman drilled a home run to deep center in the fifth. Packard nearly robbed Kleman but the ball deflected off her glove as she hit the fence. La Crosse would then take a 7-2 lead after the homer.

Rhinelander would get a run back in both the sixth and seventh frame, but couldn't pound out of the final few runs. Packard connected on a double to right field in the sixth. She would then score on a wild pitch to get the Hodags within four.

Taylor Tracte got on after being hit by a pitch in the final frame. Tracte then scored on a Ranger throwing error off Packard's infield hit. The Hodags put the tying run at the plate with two outs, but ended with a strikeout to end the threat as La Crosse would hold on to earn the 7-4 victory.

Logan will now take on Merrill, who knocked off top-seed Mosinee on Friday, as well as charted five straight game wins.

In the circle, Schickert recorded the loss. She allowed seven runs (4 earned) on nine total hits. She finished with eight strikeouts and three walks.
Packard led the Hodags with three hits in the loss. Erica Counter singled in the seventh and was the only other Rhinelander player to record a hit.

It was a tough loss for Rhinelander and marked their fifth consecutive loss in the WIAA regional finals.




Hodags earns 8-5 regional win over Medford
By Cassie Krueger - Posted on 05/26/2016
Photo By *
Despite rainy conditions and a shortened regional game, the Rhinelander High School softball team earned an 8-5 WIAA Division 2 semifinal win over Medford on Wednesday. The contest was called after consistent rain made the field conditions unplayable at Pioneer Park.

Due to five complete innings being played before the game was suspended, the officials declared the game was over, and there would be no option to finish out the final two innings the following day.

Although the game was slated for 5:00PM, both teams would rush through their warm-ups and started play 15 minutes ahead of schedule to try and beat the storms. That didn't seem to matter much, after the game was brought to a halt with the Hodags lead 1-0, with a runner on third base and two outs. Thunder resulted in the mandatory 30-minute delay.

The rain started to pick up and pitcher Sydney Elsner of Medford would walk Stephanie Kuester when the game started back up. Kim Bilogan then connected on a two-run single to give Rhinelander a 3-0 lead. Elsner would walk the next three batters to give RHS one more run, before Heidi Olson came in for relief. Ivy Packard pop out for the third out, to ending the Hodag's scoring threat.

But Medford would rally back in the second, as the rain continued to fall. All three of pitcher Ali Schickert's walks came in the second frame despite changing balls outs. Mackenzie Fries drove in the Raider's first run of the game and Medford would take advantage of Hodag errors to eventually tie the game up at 4-4. 

Rhinelander got two runners on in the second with two outs; Makayla Kuester with a single up the middle, and Stephanie Kuester drew a walk. But Bilogan left them stranded on a line drive out to short.

The rain stopped in the third, but neither team took advantage and both Medford and the Hodags did not have a single base runner in the frame.
 
In the fourth, the Hodags would take back the lead. Ivy Packard led off with a slap bunt for a single. Lindsay Juedes had a sacrifice to move Packard along. And after rounding and getting too much of a lead off on second, Packard went for third. She was in a rundown, and eventually was safe sliding to third. Katie Detert would drive in Packard on an infield single. But that would be all the Hodags would score after Medford cashed in on a double play to end the inning.

But yet again the Raiders would answer back in the fifth inning. It started when Victoria Lammar reached on error and was able to advance to third on a sacrifice from Elsner. Lammar would then score on a throwing error to tie the game 5-5. That would be all the damage done, after Juedes got the second out on a ground ball to third. Schickert earned a strikeout in the final out. 

Rhinelander would then push past and would score three times in the fifth to yet again take the lead. Stephanie Kuester would begin the rally with a standup double. Kim Bilogan then reached on error and advanced Kuester to third. 

Taylor Trachte then hit a blooper beyond third base, that was nearly caught from Medford's shortstop, but slipped out her glove. Kuester then was able to steal home on the play and put the Hodags up one run. Trachte then was able then able to score on a wild pitch.

Schickert would drive in what turned out to be the Hodag's final run of the game on a single up the middle. 

With Medford at the plate in the sixth, their rally was cut short due to the weather. The Raiders started the frame and had two runners in scoring position with two outs. But right before 7:00PM the game was stopped for the rain again, which was quickly starting to wash out the infield. They decided to wait it out, but right around 7:30 a coaches meeting with the umpires would determine the game would be called.

With the 8-5 win over Medford, Rhinelander advanced in playoffs to take on La Crosse Logan on Friday in the regional finals. The Hodags were seeded behind Logan, who was a second seed despite defeating the Rangers in the Baraboo tournament in the middle of May.


MORE STORIES
Schedule
03/31
5:00PM
Away vs. Lakeland
04/01
1:30PM
Away vs. DeForestW 4-1
04/01
3:00pm
, La Crosse Central W 6-4 8 in
04/09
11:00AM
Away vs. Denmark Invite
04/14
5:00PM
AntigoW 4-0
04/19
5:00PM
TomahawkW 4-0
04/21
4:30PM
Northland Pines (DH)W 15-0
W 19-2
04/22
MarshfieldW 8-4
04/26
5:00PM
Lakeland W 12-0
04/28
5:00PM
MosineeL 5-0
04/29
5:00PM
Wausau EastW 10-0
05/03
5:00PM
Medford AreaW 7-6
05/07
Tournament @ MARC (Merrill Area Recreation Center)vs Neillsville W 5-1
05/07
10:00AM
Tournament @ MARC (Merrill Area Recreation Center) vs Merrill W 4-0
05/10
5:00PM
Away vs. Antigo W 14-3
05/12
5:00PM
Away vs. TomahawkW 9-0
05/14
10:00AM
Invite @ Pierce Park vs La Crosse Logan W 5-2
05/17
5:00PM
Away vs. MosineeL 4-3 8 inngs
05/19
Away vs MedfordW 2-1
05/21
10:30AM
Wis Rapids Lincoln (DH)(Cancelled)
05/25
RegionalsRhinelander (#3) 8, Medford (#6) 5
05/27
RegionalsLa Crosse Logan (#2) 7, Rhinelander (#3) 4
05/31
Sectionals
06/02
Sectionals
06/09
State
Standings
GNC Standings
Mosinee12-0
Rhinelander10-2
Medford7-5
Antigo7-5
Tomahawk4-8
Lakeland2-10
Northland Pines0-12
Overall Standings
Mosinee19-3
Rhinelander18-6
Medford14-9
Antigo13-11
Tomahawk9-12
Lakeland3-17
Northland Pines0-16
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