The Rhinelander High School softball team will advance to the Division 2 WIAA regional semifinal contest after earning an 8-3 win over Ashland. The Hodags collected 12 hits and cruised to a five-run win at Pioneer Park on Thursday evening in a regional quarterfinal. It also marked Rhinelander's second win of the season, the first also coming against the Oredockers.
It took the Hodags the first two innings to adjust their timing at the plate, when they faced pitched Abby Davidson. Once Rhinelander made some minor modifications and patients at the plate they rallied and plated all eight runs after the second inning and collected 10 of their hits.
Starting junior pitcher Alex Oestreich would give up single runs in the first and fourth frame before settling in. Emily Dickrell reached on error to lead off the game and would score on an RBI grounder by Emma Marshland. And Davidson singled and scored on a fielder’s choice in the top of the fourth inning to give the Oredockers an early 2-1 lead.
Rhinelander's first offensive spurt came in the bottom of the fourth when the Hodags came back and scored four runs to take a 5-2 lead. Oestreich led off with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice from Alexis Engelking. And Haylie Stefonek drove in Oestreich on a single to left field. Kylie White followed with a single and Hannah Worachek walked to load the bases.
The Hodags' lone senior then came up big on two outs and connected on two-RBI single up the middle to put RHS ahead 4-2. Woracheck added another run after an Ashland throwing error on an attempt to pick off Evenstad stealing second.
In the sixth frame, Rhinelander tacked on a few insurance runners in similar fashion. Stefonek started with a double and White followed with a single to place runners on the corners. With no outs Ashland had another throwing error attempting to get White out stealing second, and both runners scored on the play. Sophia McGinnis capped off the scoring later in the inning with an RBI single. The Oredockers did get one run back in the sixth when Dickrell had an RBI single, but the damage was already done.
Oestreich earned the win and scattered four hits while striking out six in five innings of work. Brylee Ridderbusch finished the last two innings for Rhinelander and earned the save.
The Hodags will now be back in Mosinee for a regional semifinal game against the WIAA Division 2 top ranked team in Wisconsin on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 5:00PM at Boulevard Turf Field.
The Rhinelander High School softball team dropped three Great Northern Conference contests in the last two days. First the Hodags traveled to Northland Pines Thursday and were swept in a doubleheader and couldn't get much for them Friday when they hosted Antigo at Pioneer Park Friay. RHS was also without all-conference catcher Ella Mullikin who suffered a knee injury last week that will likely end her season. Northland Pines
The Eagles offense proved to be too much for Rhinelander to handle on Thursday as they cruised to a pair o five-inning victories. And Rhinelander's bats couldn not string enough hits to stay within reach.
The Hodags battled in the first game of the series and made their way back and found themselves within four runs at 11-7. But Pines responded with a big fifth inning and plated six runs that was capped off by an RBI double from Jen Pyne to end the game via mercy rule.
The Eagles used that momentum in the second game and rallied to a 13-3 victory again in five frames. RHS stayed close at 4-1 after four innings of action. But Northland Pines finished the fifth inning strong and plated nine runs to earn the second win of the day.
Junior Sophia McGinnis started in the circle and gave up three hits and four earned runs before being relieved by fellow junior Alex Oestreich. In the final 2 2/3 innings, Oestreich gave up three earned runs. RHS’s defense also commited four errors that ultimately led to 10 unearned runs.
The Hodags offense finished with with nine hits in the first game and was led by Hannah Worachek that drove in two runs. Senior Mikayla Evenstad and junior Brylee Ridderbusch each recorded two hits as well. In Game 2 Worachek connected on her second homer of the season. RHS only had six hits in the second game which included a pair fro Ridderbusch and RBI singles from Oestreich and McGinnis. The Hodags also left the bases loaded on four different occasions on the night.
Ridderbusch took the loss in the game game and gave up six hits and allowed eight earned runs in the 4 1/3 innings.
Rhinelander couldn't catch a break on Friday against second-best GNC team, Antigo on Friday night at Pioneer Park.The Robins cashed in on 14 hits which included eight runs in the fifth to defeat RHS 16-0.
Antigo scored in every frame except the third and was led by pitcher Emily Brettingen who recorded the shutout win and also tallied four hits. Teammate Erika Heirzen also had four hits and five RBI's.
Evenstad led the Hodags at the plate and charted two of Rhinelander's four hits on the night. Haylie Stefonek and Ridderbusch also added a hit. RHS stranded runners in scoring position in three innings. Ridderbusch took the loss and allowed 15 earned runs and finished with two strikeouts and eight walks.
Rhinelander will have another tough conference test starting on Monday when they travel to Medford. The two will meet again on Tuesday at Pioneer Park with first-pitch set for 5:00PM.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. By Request LLC shall not be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless.