THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
15-Inning Title Game Caps State Softball
In a game that will go down as one of greatest championship finals in State Tournament history, Kimberly (27-3) outlasted defending champion Westosha Central (27-4) 6-5 in 15 innings, which is the longest game in State Tournament annals.
The game is an instant classic that featured 453 pitches and lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes. Kimberly scored three times in the first inning, but the Falcons clawed back with single runs in the third and fourth innings, and two runs in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. The Papermakers tied the game with a run in the sixth inning.
The score held until the ninth when the Papermakers pushed across a run in the top half of the inning. With two outs and down to the Falcons final strike, Kayla Konwent hit an RBI triple to tie the game. That set the stage for Carleigh Johnson's heroics for Kimberly, belting a solo home run in the top of the 15th inning. The Falcons had the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning, but Konwent popped out in back of shortstop to end the game.
The Falcons left a staggering 25 runners on base and went 9-for-39 with runners in scoring position. Abby Menting had four hits and Megan Kleist added three hits for the Papermakers. Kleist was the winning pitcher, going all 15 innings with 15 strikeouts. Konwent had five hits for the Falcons and was intentional walked three times.
It is Kimberlys seventh State championship, which ranks second most among all member schools. The Papermakers improve their record in State Tournament final games to 7-0.
Mosinee (28-2) won the Division 2 championship in its first State Tournament appearance with a 2-0 blanking of defending champion New London (19-6) in the State final Saturday at Goodman Diamond in Madison.
Rochelle Koshalek struck out eight and tossed a three-hit shutout to lead the Indians. Autumn Michlg accounted for the games only two runs. She double and eventually scored in the fourth inning on a Katie Zimick single. In the sixth inning, she tripled and scored an insurance run on a sacrifice fly by Zimick.
A solid pitching line by Shelby Sommer was spoiled by the Bulldogs. She yielded just four hits and two earned runs. Leah Porath had two of the three hits for the Bulldogs.
Arcadia (30-0) capped a perfect season with a 1-0 victory over Laconia (21-5) in the Division 3 championship game Saturday at Goodman Diamond in Madson.
Arcadias Taylor Haines and Laconias Kayla Schwebke hooked up in a pitching duel. Haines struck out the first 13 batters she faced and ended with 17 strikeouts in tossing a two-hit shutout. Schwebke only a pair of hits as well with nine strikeouts.
The only run of the games scored in the top of the seventh inning. Michaela Brueggen singled to right for her second hit of the game. Hilary Filla came in to pinch run and proceeded to steal second base and advanced to third when the throw deflected into centerfield. Alyssa Pronschinske drove her in with a sacrifice fly.
It is the first State title for the Arcadia. The Spartans finish runner-up for the second time, also placing second at State in 2009.
Oakfield (21-2) captured its fourth State championship in the last six seasons and its fifth overall with a 7-3 win over Cochrane-Fountain City in the Division 4 title game.
The Oaks led 4-0 before the Pirates responded with runs in back-to-back innings to narrow the deficit to 4-2. Oakfield led 5-2 when they added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning.
Dana Swanson had a pair of triples for the Oaks to set a Division 4 tournament record for a game. Mikayla Newton had a pair of hits and two RBI, and McKaela and Madelyn Ryan each had a pair of hits to lead the Oaks offense.
The Pirates out-hit the Oaks 12-11, the most by a losing team in Division 4 State Tournament history, led by Kerrigan Lyga with three singles.