Marshfield drops a WVC thriller

Marshfield drops a WVC thriller

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Marshfield drops a WVC thriller

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WAUSAU

The Marshfield softball team was one strike away from its first win in the Wisconsin Valley Conference Wednesday afternoon when Wausau West’s Mikayla Kramer changed the Tigers’ fortunes with one dramatic swing.

The leftfielder’s two-run home run to right field off Marshfield’s Caitlyn Kozik on a full count tied the game with two outs in the seventh inning, and West’s Sara Hillery blooped a hit to short left field in the eighth to score Chloe Springer and give the Warriors a 6-5 win — their first in conference play this spring.

It was also the latest in a series of close, late losses for the Tigers.

“It’s been about two or three times this year where we’ve had the lead going into at least the sixth inning and something happens. Usually it’s been the sixth inning,” said Marshfield coach Mike Voss, whose team was edged by Merrill 5-3 on Monday as the Bluejays scored twice in the fifth to break a tie. “Today, unfortunately it was the seventh inning. Each game we get closer and closer to getting the win and the girls keep working hard and doing the things to get one.

“Caitlyn did a good job pitching today and our defense got us out of some binds and we almost got out of some trouble here at the end,” Voss said. “A couple more steps and we make a catch (on Hillery’s hit) instead of it dropping in there. It’s the way its kind of been going this year.”

The home run was the first in Kramer’s varsity career.

“The pitch was really good. I swung and it just popped right off the bat,” said Kramer, the No. 5 hitter in the Warriors’ lineup. “I just started running … then I got to first and looked up and it was already on the other side of the fence.”

The Warriors needed a late-inning rally after Marshfield erupted for five runs in the sixth inning after being held to just two hits by West pitcher Sammy Laatsch over the first five innings. The Tigers took advantage of two walks, a wild pitch and an error, and Jessi Lyon singled home two runs to give the Tigers their first lead at 4-3.

Hillery and Jordyn Keltner were retired in order to open West’s seventh inning, then Liz Meier — who tripled in the third inning –lined a 0-2 pitch to center for a hit and would have been thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, but the throw to second was high and off-target.

That set the stage for Kramer.

“She’s been hitting well all season, and she does hit with a lot of power,” West coach Janna Hillman said. “I was hoping for a big hit, and that’s the first home run of her career, so she’s pretty excited.

“(The win) is big because we started out with SPASH and Everest last week (in the WVC) and struggled at times. I thought we played Point much better (Monday),” Hillman added. “We had a lot of hits and scored some runs on them, so I thought going into today, our kids had some confidence. We had a few letdowns today, but for them to battle back and not quit says a lot for this team.”

Tim Johnson can be reached at 715-845-0731. Find him on Twitter as @timmyjo11

Marshfield 000 005 00-5 5 1
West 002 010 21-6 12 2

WP-Sammy Laatsch. LP-Caitlyn Kozik. 2B-WW, Liz Meier. 3B-WW, Laatsch, Meier. HR-WW, Mikayla Kramer.

Records: Wausau West 2-4, 1-3 Wisconsin Valley Conference; Marshfield 0-8, 1-3 WVC.

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