Badger’s softball team ended last season with a 12-0 playoff loss to perennial Southern Lakes Conference title contender Westosha Central. This season began April 2 against the same foe, and the Falcons got the better of the Badgers again, this time by a score of 19-0.
Early on, Westosha set the tone for the season opener. The first five Falcons picked up hits, capped off with a home run by sophomore Jillian Adams to make the score 4-0. A couple of batters later, junior Ellie Witt hit a solo home run to go ahead 5-0.
In what would become a theme throughout the game, all three Badgers struck out in the bottom of the first inning.
The second inning was the strongest frame of the game for Badger, as the Lake Geneva squad allowed Westosha only a single run.
It also featured the best defensive play for the team, when Adams hit a slow grounder to Badger’s senior pitcher Seneca Peterson. Peterson threw the ball to home plate which began a pickle standoff on the third base line that involved a handful of Badger infielders and ended with two outs at third base to end the inning.
The third inning saw Westosha Central score six more runs, and the fourth featured five Falcon runs to extend the score to 17-0.
In the fifth and final inning, Westosha scored another pair of runs to bring the score to 19-0. The frame featured another standout defensive play by the Badgers, though, as sophomore catcher Lace Atkinson threw out sophomore Carly Vogelsang after the Falcons player was too aggressive in leading off.
It wasn’t a strong day at the plate for the Badgers, who failed to get a hit off Westosha Central star pitcher Olivia Kazumura. Kazmura picked up 12 strikeouts out of 15 total outs, twice striking out the side.
While Badger wasn’t able to win its second game of the season either on April 4, the contest was much closer. The Badgers traveled to Elkhorn, where the hometown Elks won 5-1.
Elkhorn only scored a single run in the first inning, but came out swinging in the second with four runs to takes a quick 5-0 lead.
From that point on, though, Peterson righted the ship, shutting out the Elks in the game’s final four frames while striking out seven batters. Peterson helped herself at the plate, too, driving in Badger’s only run in the third inning.
On April 6, the Badgers hosted Shawano for a doubleheader, and Badger came out victorious in both games to even its record at 2-2.
In the first game, the Badgers picked up a 10-5 win thanks to a big comeback in the second-to-last inning. Trailing 5-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Badger exploded for a six-run rally that clinched the victory.
Peterson picked up the win on the mound, throwing all seven innings and striking out six. She also had a solid day at the plate with four RBIs. Sophomore Sidney Klein also picked up multiple RBIs with two.
The Badgers picked up where they left off in game two, scoring four runs in the first inning en route to a 9-6 victory.
After the big first inning, the Badger offense came slow and steady, scoring one run in the second, third and sixth innings, with a two-run frame in the fifth.
Klein knocked in two RBIs again, and freshman Natalie Ransom also drove in two RBIs in the win.
The majority of the Shawano damage came in the third inning when the Hawks scored five runs.