Callie Troutfetter has done it all for the Oshkosh West softball team over her four-year varsity career.
On Thursday, she delivered the Wildcats a well-deserved trip to the WIAA State Tournament.
As a rainbow appeared and daylight dimmed in the cloudy skies at Oshkosh North’s softball field, Troutfetter lined a two-run, home run over the right-center field fence to give the Wildcats an 8-6, 10-inning win over Kimberly in a WIAA Division 1 sectional final.
“I just wanted to get on base, make sure I hit a line drive to the outfield and hopefully bring Meg (Krautsch) around,” said Troutfetter, who also pitched all 10 innings in the win, which earned West its first state tournament berth since 2001. “I had no idea (it was a home run), so I was booking it. It wasn’t until I almost hit second and I looked and it wasn’t in the field anymore.”
Troutfetter’s home run followed a 30-minute delay for lightning after the bottom of the ninth inning.
But the time away from the field, didn’t bother West.
“(During the delay,) we were just like we had to keep our head in the game the whole time and keep going,” Meg Krautsch said. “It’s stressful. It’s very stressful. It’s not something you want to go through in a big game like this you just want it to be over with.”
After the teams returned to the field, Troutfetter retired the Papermakers 2-3-4 hitters in order, striking out Abby Menting to end the frame.
Krautsch delivered a solid single to start the inning for West, brining Troutfetter to the plate. The senior took a ball on the first pitch and then drilled the game-winner.
“I did (think it was gone right away),” Krautsch said. “I was jumping up by the time I saw it go over the fence. I was like ‘Oh my gosh, this is it, finally.'”
Both Krautsch and Troutfetter did as much leaping and jumping as running around the bases and celebrated with the rest of the team at home plate.
“I knew Callie had something in her, up her sleeve. She always does,” fellow senior Marina Hereford said. “So it was pretty fitting.”
West looked like it had control of the game early.
Troutfetter drove in two runs with a double in the first inning after Kimberly had taken a 2-0 lead. Taylor Skroski belted a two-run double to highlight a three-run third inning and Krautsch’s RBI-single in the fourth gave the Wildcats a 6-2 lead.
“We were really fired up about this game,” Hereford said. “It’s a big game. We wanted to be here for a long time, especially us four seniors. I think we were just super fired up.”
So was Kimberly, the Papermakers rallied for four runs in the fifth inning to tie the score.
“It was just a rough inning,” West coach John Kloehn said.
West appeared to regain the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Hailey Hendrix sent a single to left field with the bases loaded and two Wildcats crossed the plate.
But the umpires ruled that Hendrix was out of the batter’s box when she made contact and was called out, with runners returning to their bases.
Menting then retired Lexi Holsten on a fly ball to center field to end the threat.
“That play hurt,” Kloehn said. “I was unhappy, but there is nothing you can do about it.”
But that wasn’t West’s only opportunity.
In addition to leaving bases loaded in the fifth, the Wildcats had a runner caught in a rundown between third and home and then left runners at second and third in the sixth.
In the seventh West had a runner at third with two outs and couldn’t score and then had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth but couldn’t push a run across.
“We were getting a little frustrated but we were like this is it this is going to happen. We’re going to score that run,” said Chantal Bougie, who had three hits and scored two runs. “And that’s what happened.”
As the Wildcats were leaving runners on, Troutfetter kept Kimberly in check.
After the fifth-inning outburst, the Papermakers had only two runners reach base the rest of the game — one on a single and the other on West’s lone error.
Troutfetter finished with 10 strikeouts and just one walk in the game, the final punchout setting the stage for her game-winning heroics.
“Callie is awesome. She’s so amazing. She’s always comes out during the right times and she contributes so much to the team,” Bougie said. “I’m so excited. I’m so proud of everyone on the team. It’s an awesome feeling. Everyone on the team contributed and it was great that it went out in our favor.”
Notes: Menting walked three and struck out one in the game, but four of the runs she allowed were unearned. She also opened the game with a two-run home run in the first. … The No. 8 and No. 9 hitters for West — Megan Miller and Hendrix — each went 2-for-5 in the game, while their Kimberly counterparts were 0-for-8. … Bailey Schultz finished 1-for-3, but reached base in four of her five plate appearances.
Game ball: Troutfetter, for the game-winning home run, five RBIs and 10 innings on the mound.
Numbers game: 4, the number of errors by Kimberly, which led to four unearned runs for West.
KIM…200 040 000 0 — 6 8 4
OW…203 100 000 2 — 8 14 1
WP: Callie Troutfetter (10 IP, 1 BB, 10 Ks). LP: Abby Menting (9 IP, 3 BBs, 1 K).
Leading hitters: KIM — Megan Kleist 3×5, RBI; Abby Menting 2×5, 2B, HR, 4 RBIs.; Sara Rosenow, RBI. OW — Chantal Bougie 3×4, 2B; Meg Krautsch 2×6, RBI; Callie Troutfetter 2×5, 2B, 5 RBIs; Bailey Schultz 2B; Taylor Skroski 2B, 2 RBI; Megan Miller 2×5; Hailey Hendrix 2×5.