A promising season for the Iola-Scandinavia softball team ended May 28 with an 8-6 loss to Shiocton in a Division 3 sectional semifinal in Amherst.
The Thunderbirds built a 5-0 lead in the game, but the Chiefs rallied for the win and I-S ended its season with a 20-5 record.
I-S opened the scoring in the first, as Kylie Johnson singled, advanced to second on Mariah Oppor’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch.
Payton Erickson reached on the first of Shiocton’s three errors to open the second inning, advanced to third on a pair of passed balls and scored on Kiara Boutwell’s single. Boutwell scored on Mariah Oppor’s fielder’s choice hit and Jane Oligney followed with a single to score Johnson and Oppor.
Shiocton responded with a run in the second and fourth to cut the T-Birds’ lead to 5-2. The Chiefs took the lead for good with four runs in the fifth on four hits. Carmen McCarthy delivered the big hit, a bases-loaded triple to right center field. Shiocton added two insurance runs in the sixth Brittany Schmidt’s two-run home run.
I-S attempted a rally in the seventh, as Oligney reached on a fielder’s choice and eventually scored on Brianne Huettner’s double. Erickson followed with a walk to put the tying runs on base, but the T-Birds couldn’t get any closer.
“It was a disappointing end to our season,” coach Tom Anderson said. “After jumping out to an early 5-0 lead, you have to credit Shiocton for settling down, making some nice defensive plays and getting some key hits to get back into the game.”
Huettner took the loss in relief of Erickson, as she pitched the final 1 2/3 innings. Huettner allowed three hits and two walks while striking out two batters, while Erickson allowed seven hits and no walks while striking out two.
Johnson, Oligney, Huettner, Boutwell and Amanda Aasen each had a hit for the T-Birds. Schmidt, Karri Williamson and Kiana Williamson each had two hits for the Chiefs. Shiocton’s season ended May 30 with a 4-0 loss to Stevens Point Pacelli in a sectional final.
“As always, the end of the season means the last game for our three seniors, Amanda Aasen, Kiara Boutwell and Payton Erickson,” Anderson said. “I’ve coached those three girls for the past nine seasons starting in fourth grade with ISRA summer softball. They have turned into fine young ladies from great families. They will be missed.”