Peshtigo/Marinette are Regional Champs

Peshtigo Advances to Sectional Final;
Marines Fall to Irish in Extra Innings

Bulldogs Shutout
Tigers 4-0 To Win
Regional Championship

The Peshtigo Bulldogs are still yet to be beaten after a 4-0 regional championship win over Wrightstown on Thursday, another Bethany Ahrens masterclass in the circle.
The Tigers’ leadoff hitter tripled to start the game, but Ahrens struck out the next three hitters to get out of the inning. That would start a streak of seven straight strikeouts as she K’d the side in order in the second and set down the leadoff hitter on strikes in the third.
In the bottom of the first, Allison Peters singled to lead off the inning and Ahrens doubled before a sacrifice fly from Sam LaCoursiere.
The game remained 1-0 until the fifth, when LaCoursiere singled in Nevaeh Russell and Ahrens, then scored a run to make it 4-0.
Ahrens struck out 16 hitters and spread two hits and three walks across seven frames to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard.
“Bethany again threw an outstanding game,” Peshtigo coach Matt LaCoursiere said. “We played consistent, solid defense, we got clutch hitting, and clutch pitching, and when you get those three, you win a lot of games. It’s just kind of the formula for success.”
Coming in, Wrightstown had won 11 of its last 13, but the Bulldogs haven’t lost all year. And when Ahrens is on like she was Thursday, a 1-0 lead sure feels like more.
“I knew they were going to be a tough team to play. They had played some really good teams really tough,” coach LaCoursiere said. “I knew going into this game that we would have to play well, so a 1-0 game at that point didn’t concern me. I think it was just a matter of time. We had a lot of runners on. It was a matter of time until we got a clutch hit.”
The Bulldogs earned a rematch with No. 2 Amherst at home on Tuesday, the team that eliminated them in last year’s playoffs.
Marines Upset Top
Seeded Spartans to
Win Regional Title
Luxemburg-Casco beat Marinette by a combined 19-2 score in the teams’ first two meetings this season, but the Marines proved on Thursday that it’s hard to beat a team three times.
The Marines upset the top-seeded Spartans 5-2 in the regional championship, with the fifth inning the key on both sides.
With Lux-Casco leading 1-0, Marinette plated four runs in the top of the inning. With two outs and a runner on first, three straight singles by Regan Hermanson, Barrett Cole, and Cienna Grawey got the momentum going and Wynn Erdman hit a two-RBI single to cap the rally off.
Erdman, the Marinette pitcher, faced some trouble in the bottom of the fifth when a single, walk, and error loaded the bases with no outs.
Flyouts to left and right field and a strikeout looking got her out of the jam and she would limit the Spartans to just a seventh-inning run the rest of the way, never allowing the tying run to the plate.
“We score four in the top of five, they have bases loaded in the bottom of five and we get out of that without a run. That was the game,” Marinette coach Scott Macintyre said. “Wynn Erdman pitched a gem and timely hits and great defense is what did it. We scored four runs with two outs. It just shows what grit the girls have.”
Cole was 2-3 with two runs and an RBI and Grawey was 3-4 with a run and an RBI.
Erdman was 1-3 with two RBIs. In the circle, she pitched all seven innings, striking out nine and allowing two runs (one earned). She walked one and spread five hits across the seven frames.
The Marines’ win earned them another chance at redemption, this time against No. 2 Freedom on Tuesday. The Irish beat Marinette 6-5 and 3-0 in the regular season.

Bulldogs Advance
to Sectional Final With
Win Over Falcons

If you’re not aware by now, Peshtigo’s Bethany Ahrens can do it all. The Bulldogs kept rolling through the playoffs on Tuesday as the senior pitched seven one-hit innings and slugged a two-run home run to beat Amherst 4-0.
After Allison Peters singled in the first inning, Ahrens gave herself an early lead with a home run to score a pair.
From there, she would pitch seven scoreless innings, allowing just one slap single and two walks in the game. She struck out 16 batters, including five strikeouts looking.
“She’s amazing. She’s just a stud. When she’s loose and she’s hot, just get out of the way, because she’s tough to beat,” Matt LaCoursiere said.
Ahrens was intentionally walked in addition to her homer. Peters was intentionally walked twice and came up with two singles in her two official at-bats, recording a run and an RBI.
Nevaeh Russell had an RBI single to score Rylie Ellie in the second inning. Ellie was 2-3 in the game, as was Sam LaCoursiere. Neela Sotka doubled and scored in the sixth.
Next up for Peshtigo is No. 3 seed Mishicot in Gillett on Thursday for the sectional championship. Mishicot is coming off a 7-5 upset of No. 1 seed New Holstein.
The Bulldogs have played all home games in the playoffs thus far, and they’ll be hoping Thursday feels like a home game as well.
“I know the crowd will come out again. We had a great crowd again tonight just like we had last week,” coach LaCoursiere said. “The support has been amazing. The town’s really backed us. They backed us all year, but they’ve really come out in the last couple weeks. The kids feed off it and it’s appreciated.”
The game begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Orby Jones Sports Complex.

Cougars Fall
to Thunderbirds
In Regional Final

Coleman’s softball season came to an end in the regional final matchup of the Division 4 playoffs on Thursday.
Facing No. 3 seed Iola-Scandinavia, the Cougars were beaten 8-2 after a couple of big innings by the Thunderbirds in the third and fourth.
After two scoreless frames, the Thunderbirds got a two-run home run by Brooklyn Berrens, then a hit batter and three walks to bring in a third run in the third inning.
Three more hits and a walk in the fourth made it 6-0.
Nine walks helped the Thunderbirds turn five hits into eight runs. While the Cougars out-hit the Thunderbirds seven to five, Iola-Scandinavia pitcher Maddie Much did not walk a batter.
“I knew it was going to be a good game. Iola’s got a good team,” Coleman coach Jean LeVash said. “They seem to have our number every year, but we just didn’t get the bats going. I thought we’d put up a lot of runs on this team and it just didn’t happen. That happens.”
Courtney DenRuyter took the loss. She allowed eight runs (six earned), striking out 11. At the plate, she was 2-4 with an RBI. Katie Knox was 2-3 with a run scored.
Knox is one of four seniors on the Cougars, along with Keyanna Marks, Rachel Terp, and Cameron Zeitler.
“They’re four good seniors. Great kids, good ballplayers,” LeVash said. “They’re going to be missed. Good role models. They’re very enjoyable and I’m going to miss them.”

Maroons Sweep Redmen
in Doubleheader

It’s never easy to beat any team four times in a row, especially in less than a week, but the Menominee Maroons swept Marquette for the second doubleheader in a row on Thursday, 13-8 and 5-4.
Menominee had 19 hits in game one. Phoebe Barrette was 3-5 with a run and two RBIs, Addy Johnson was 5-5 with two runs and five RBIs, Elena Murphy was 3-4 with a run and two RBIs, Kamryn Olson was 3-5 with three runs and an RBI, and Maddy Barker was 3-5 with three runs scored.
Marquette led 4-2 through two innings, but Menominee took a 5-4 lead in the third with three runs, then added three each in the fifth and sixth and two more in the seventh for good measure.
“They were really getting the bat on the ball once they timed up the pitcher,” Menominee coach Dale Olsen said. “Just timely hits, they were hitting gaps, and the bottom half of our order was really helping us out that first game.”
Game two was much closer.
Olson got the win, allowing four earned in 7 innings. She struck out four batters.
Five Maroons had two-hit games in that one, including Murphy, Barrette, Kadyn Olsen, Barker, and Olson. Defense was the standout, however.
Barrette ranged over to make a nice running catch to end the fifth inning and the second out of the seventh inning came on a diving play from catcher Piper Monroe.
“I’ve noticed throughout the year, it’s a grind. Everybody has that problem. It’s keeping everybody engaged at the same time,” coach Olsen said. “We’ve been working at that and I think they did a really good job of doing that today. I saw a little bit of extra effort today out of a few people and it really helped us.”
It was Menominee’s second sweep of Marquette in less than a week, as they also did the double at home on the previous Friday.
“I would say around the fourth or fifth inning, we hit this wall where it takes a lot of energy to keep them from complacency,” Olsen said. “They’ve been doing a really good job together keeping each other engaged, so that was really the difference in the last four games that we played these guys, because they were hitting the ball well. Timely plays, that’s all I can say.”

Marines Fall in
Extra Innings To Irish
in Sectional Semi

Marinette and Freedom battled for 10 innings on Tuesday to decide which team would go to the Division 2 sectional final, with the Irish claiming a 3-2 victory.
Both teams were scoreless through six innings, but things got going in the seventh.
Marinette scored two runs courtesy of Destiny Walker and Kaya Bodam, who both reached on walks and scored on a single by Jada Diaz.
In the bottom of the inning, Freedom matched it, however, with four singles bringing in two runs.
Marinette’s only extra-innings threat came in the ninth, when Walker doubled to lead off the inning, but three straight strikeouts got Freedom out of the inning.
Diaz was 3-4 with two RBIs in the game for Marinette. Walker and Bodam were each 1-3 with a run scored.
Wynn Erdman took the loss, allowing three runs in 10 innings of work. She struck out eight and spread eight hits across the game. She did not walk a batter.
Peyton VandeLoo got the win, striking out 18 batters and allowing two runs on six hits and five walks.
The 10-inning game was one of four WIAA sectional games Tuesday to go 10 or more innings. Elsewhere in D2, New London beat Medford in 11 innings, while two D1 games went 10 frames.

Regional Recap

In softball action, No. 4 Niagara was beaten 13-3 by top seed Laona/Wabeno on Thursday as the Rebels hoisted the regional champs trophy.
No. 2 Florence was also ousted on Thursday by an 18-4 score at the hands of No. 3 Newman Catholic, who would go on to beat the Rebels 13-6 on Tuesday.
After a strong playoff run that included winning a Division 2 regional and beating No. 1 seed Luxemburg-Casco, the Marinette Marines lost 3-2 to Freedom in 10 innings on Thursday.


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