The Manawa girls’ softball team was the fifth seed for the playoffs, and found themselves traveling more than two hours for two straight games.
Three Lakes 1, Manawa 0
The Lady Wolves traveled more than two hours to take on the Three Lakes Blue Jays. Three Lakes is ranked 13th in the state and was the No. 1 seed.
Manawa faced one of the stronger pitchers it has seen this season. Eight of Manawa’s nine batters struck out. Ansley Block reached base on a single in the second inning and Katelyn Langman reached base on a fielding error in the third inning.
Block was strong herself on the mound, striking out five in the first three innings. She walked four, but didn’t give up any hits.
Manawa’s three batters in the fourth inning all struck out, but Block did not allow any base runners as Lexi Sell made a nice catch in right field.
Wendy Kons started the fifth with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Sell beat out the throw to first on a dropped third strike, while Kons advanced to third and Sell stole second base. With no outs and runners on second and third, Manawa failed to get a run across the plate.
Three Lakes’ first batter of the fifth reached on a throwing error, but Block struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
The Blue Jays threatened in the sixth inning. With one out, the Blue Jays put three singles together. However, as one of the runners attempted to advance home off a single to rightfield, Sell fired a perfect throw to home plate to gun down the runner. Block walked the next batter and again bases were loaded. Block kept Three Lakes in check and the game headed into the seventh inning, tied at 0.
Both teams failed to score in the seventh inning. For the fourth time this season, the Lady Wolves headed into extra innings.
Manawa was retired in order in the eighth inning.
With one out, a fielding error let the second batter reach second base. She eventually went on to score and win the game.
Manawa’s three four-year varsity starters – Kali Draeger, Krista Braun and Kim Retzke – saw their season come to an end in a tough, 1-0 loss.
Manawa 5, Crandon 0
The winds were very strong for this game, delaying the game many times to allow the wind and dust to settle.
In the top of the first inning, with two outs, Draeger hit a double to right center and scored Manawa’s first run on a single by Block, who advanced to second as Crandon attempted a play at home. Baylee Gorges pinch ran for Block and scored on a double by Retzke.
Bobbi Sell started off the third by getting hit by a pitch, followed by Langman’s single. Both went on to score before the inning was over.
Block started off the sixth inning with her second single of the day, and again, Gorges came in to run. Kons reached on a walk and both runners advanced to second and third on wild pitches, with Gorges scoring off one of the pitches.
Block gave up one hit in the sixth, but that was it, as Manawa went on to win 5-0.