After a disappointing loss to Pacelli, the Lady Wolves softball team traveled to Wittenberg on Thursday, April 12 and Gillett on Friday, April 13.
Being on the road didn’t stop them from rebounding from their earlier loss to take home two wins.
Against conference rival, Wittenberg-Birnamwood Chargers, Kali Draeger reached first base, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored Manawa’s first run on a W-B error to start off the first inning.
Senior Krista Braun started on the mound for Manawa. Though she gave up only one hit in the first inning, the Chargers scored three runs off one infield error and two outfield errors.
In the second inning, Manawa was retired in order. Wittenberg’s first batter reached on a single, but was eliminated when the next batter hit into a double play. After one more hit and another infield error, Wittenberg scored one more run in the second to take a 4-1 lead.
In the top of the third, Langman hit a single, but was thrown out on a fielder’s choice. Braun stole second and advanced to third when Draeger reached on a Witt-Birn error. After back-to-back singles by Block and Retzke, both Braun and Draeger scored. Wittenberg came back in the third with three hits, scoring one run.
After three innings, Manawa was down 5-3. Both teams switched pitchers in the fourth, and neither team was able to score in the inning.
The fifth inning saw Draeger reach on a walk, advance on a fielder’s choice, and score off a double by Retzke. Bobbi Sell hit a single to score Retzke.
Block came in to pitch for Manawa and promptly walked the first batter, but recovered by striking out the next two. Lexie Sell threw out the last batter.
Braun drew a walk to reach base in the sixth, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Retzke.
Wittenberg tried to rally back in the sixth when the first batter hit a single and advanced to third base on wild pitches. Block struck out the second batter, walked the third batter, who advanced to second. The second out was a pop-up to Sell on second, and Braun shut down W-B from scoring by grabbing a line drive at short. After six innings, Manawa was ahead 7-5.
In the top of the seventh inning, Manawa sent 11 batters at the plate. Lexi Sell reached on a walk, stole second and third base, and then scored on a W-B throwing error. Katie Velie also drew a walk in, stole second base, advanced to third, and scored when Braun reached first after W-B’s catcher missed the third strike. Braun stole second base, advanced to third, and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Draeger. Block and Retzke hit back-to-back singles and both scored on a double by Kons.
Heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, Manawa was up 14-5. W-B failed to score in the final inning.
The win was Manawa’s first conference of the season, and the first win for first year head coach Todd Zielke.
Braun gave up six hits, while Block gave up two hits, struck out five, and walked two.
Manawa 32, Gillett 0
Friday the 13th proved to be a bad omen for the Gillett Tigers when Manawa came to town.
In the top of the first inning, Langman reached on an error, advanced to second when Braun was hit by a pitch, stole third base, and scored on a single by Draeger. Braun scored on a fielder’s choice by Retzke, and Draeger scored on a passed ball.
That would be all that Manawa needed, as inexperience and numerous errors by Gillett allowed Manawa to dominate the game.
Block started on the mound with Katelyn Langman behind the plate for the first time in her varsity career. Gillett’s first batter reached on a third strike dropped ball and throwing error to first, advanced to second on a single by Gillett’s third batter, and went to third base on a fielder’s choice. That was as far as any Tiger would advance on the bases. Only one other Tiger reached first base during the game.
Highlights of the game were triples by the three seniors – Draeger, Braun and Retzke. Every Manawa batter, including the relief players, scored in the game. Manawa tallied 20 hits, 32 runs, 19 RBIs and 8 walks.