Red Hawks win two more Coulee games
Two wins in the Coulee Conference have the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau softball team within striking distance of a conference title share.
The Red Hawks took convincing wins over Viroqua and Black River Falls before falling in a nonconference matchup Friday against Tomah.
G-E-T moves to 12-4 overall, including a 9-2 record in the Coulee with the wins over Viroqua and BRF. The Red Hawks entered the week needing a win and some help from Onalaska Luther to secure a share of the Coulee title. G-E-T was scheduled to play the Knights on Monday, who also face Coulee-leading Westby (9-1 entering the week) this Thursday.
The Red Hawks are also scheduled for a nonconference doubleheader for their regular season finale in Holmen on Thursday. That will also serve as their final tune-up for Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association regional play, as the fourth-seeded Red Hawks host fifth-seeded Greenwood/Loyal this coming Monday in the regional semifinal.
G-E-T 15 Viroqua 6
An offensive outburst of 15 runs on 14 hits and 12 walks led the Red Hawks to a Coulee win in Viroqua last Tuesday.
The top two in the lineup led the charge, as Anna Puent and Lindsey Lettner combined for seven hits. Puent scored four times on three hits including a double, while Lettner had four hits, a walk, a run scored, two stolen bases and five driven in on the day.
G-E-T tallied nine runs over the first three innings, keeping them ahead of the five Blackhawk runs scored in an early shootout. The Red Hawks scored at least one run in each of the remaining innings to seal the win for Genna O’Neill on the mound. O’Neill pitched six innings, allowing six runs including three earned on five hits and seven walks while striking out seven. Abby Braunreiter finished the game, striking out two in a clean inning.
Seven Red Hawks reached base at least three times over the course of the game, with the bottom of the order also doing their part to set the table. Caydence Kokott reached base four times on two walks and two hits. leading to a stolen base and a run scored. McKenna Johnson also drove in two and scored twice on a hit and two walks.
G-E-T 11 BRF 1
Eight G-E-T runs in the bottom of the fifth turned a narrow Coulee battle with BRF into a mercy rule victory.
The Red Hawks answered a one-run opening salvo from the Tigers in the top of the first with three of their own, taking the lead on a double from O’Neill that drove in Puent and Lettner. O’Neill later scored on an error as G-E-T led 3-1 after one. That score held thanks in part to the pitching of O’Neill, who spread four hits over five innings pitched, allowing just the one earned run and striking out four.
O’Neill helped her own cause to lead off the bottom of the fifth, as she connected on a solo home run. Four batters later with two aboard, Melissa Flynn drove in the second run of the inning with a base hit. Johnson followed with an RBI groundout for the second out of the inning, but the scoring was far from over. An RBI single by Puent, base on balls by Lettner, two-RBI double by Maggie Bistodeau and a single by O’Neill put Ryann Duffenbach in position with two outs to end the game with a base hit. She came through with a two-RBI double for her third hit of the game, resulting in a walk-off win as the Red Hawks clinched the 10-run mercy rule win.
Puent led off with three hits including a double, two runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases. O’Neill got three legs of the cycle on her three hits, which included her home run and double, as well as three runs scored and three RBIs. Duffenbach also had three of the team’s 15 hits, including her double, one run scored and two driven in.
Tomah 8 G-E-T 7
After walking off winners on Thursday, G-E-T found themselves on the short end of a last at-bat outcome on Friday.
The Red Hawks were ahead 6-2 entering the bottom of the fourth, thanks to RBI doubles from Puent and O’Neill, as well as RBI singles from Flynn, Shayna Kirkey. Johnson and Bistodeau. Three Timberwolves runs in the bottom of the fourth cut the lead to one, before Puent forced in a run on a walk in the fifth to move the score to 7-5. Tomah came right back in the bottom of the same inning however, tying the game with two runs entering the sixth. G-E-T stranded two in scoring position in the sixth, and were unable to get a runner on base in the seventh.
Tomah walked it off in the bottom of the seventh, as a pair of singles and an error allowed the winning run to cross. O’Neill took the loss, pitching the final two-and-a-third on the mound, allowing three unearned runs on two walks and two hits while striking out two. Braunreiter pitched the first four innings, allowing five runs, two earned on seven hits and one walk while striking out three. Kaitlyn Gunderson, Flynn and Johnson were the leading hitters with two each of the team’s 12.