After five weeks of indoor practices, the Iola-Scandinavia softball team opened its season April 13 by sweeping Winneconne in a nonconference doubleheader.
The Thunderbirds handed the Wolves a 8-1 loss in the first game and followed that up wit a 13-6 win in the second game.
The game featured temperatures in the mid-30s, a wind chill factor below freezing and off-and-on snow flurries, but the T-Birds produced their own heat by swinging some hot bats and playing solid defense behind two very good pitching performances.
“I was really happy with our performance today,” coach Tom Anderson said. “I thought we hit the ball well, played solid defense and our pitchers did an excellent job. We weren’t perfect and we have many things to improve on, but it was a very good start.”
I-S 8, Winneconne 1
I-S scored two runs in the second and third innings and that was all senior pitcher Payton Erickson needed in going the distance to earn the win. She allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out three batters.
The T-Birds had five batters with at least two hits. Brianne Huettner had two hits, including a two-run home run over the fence in the third inning. Jane Oligney added three hits, including a run-scoring triple in the sixth. Brooke Phillips, Erickson and Amanda Aasen added two hits each.
I-S 13, Winneconne 6
The T-Birds bats stayed hot in the second game, as a seven-run first inning gave I-S the lead for good.
Huettner made her varsity debut on the mound and scattered seven hits and five walks while striking out six batters to pick up the complete-game win.
Oligney drove in three more runs with four hits, while Huettner added three hits and Phillips and Erickson chipped in with two each. Phillips had a double and Erickson had a triple, while Kylie Johnson had a leadoff triple in the first inning.
The T-Birds are scheduled to play in Amherst at 4:30 p.m. today (Thursday, April 18) before heading to Shiocton Friday, April 19. The varsity and junior varsity teams are scheduled to head to West Salem Saturday, April 20, for a pair of doubleheaders starting at 11 a.m.
The varsity team will also host a Central Wisconsin 8 Conference doubleheader against Wittenberg-Birnamwood at 4 p.m. Monday, April 22, while the JV squad will play a pair in Wittenberg.
The varsity team will also host Manawa Tuesday, April 23, while the JV team heads to Manawa. The T-Bird varsity team will also travel to Manawa Thursday, April 25, with the JV squad hosting the Wolves. First pitch for both days is set for 4:30 p.m.