Softball: Third inning haunts Shawano in loss to Marinette

Hawks fall to 0-1 overall
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By Morgan Rode sports@newmedia-wi.com


Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Taylor Johnson swings at a pitch in the early innings of Tuesday’s nonconference loss to Marinette.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Emilee Bastar delivers a pitch during the seventh inning of Tuesday’s nonconference loss to Marinette.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Lauren Welander sprints towards first base during the sixth inning of Tuesday’s nonconference loss to Marinette.

A five-run third inning proved too much to overcome for the Shawano Community High School softball team in a season-opening 8-3 loss to Marinette on Tuesday at Memorial Park’s B Diamond.

Shawano took a 1-0 lead into the third inning after junior Macie Herm delivered a one-out RBI double to score courtesy runner Elizabeth Esch, a senior, in the bottom of the second. Esch was running for pitcher Taylor Johnson, who singled to open the frame.

In the third, Johnson, a sophomore, got the first two Marines to ground out before things went south for the hosts.

Back-to-back walks set up a two-RBI double that put Marinette ahead. The next better delivered a RBI triple before a single made it 4-1 and forced Shawano (0-1) to switch pitchers.

The next three Marines (1-0) walked to force in another run before Johnson came back in to get the final out of the frame.

“Yeah, we had two outs and then there were a couple walks and to their credit, they (Marinette) had a couple big hits. They swung the bats very well tonight.” Shawano coach Brian Johnson said. “But that’s what walks do — it gives people opportunities and we just have to avoid those things.”

Shawano was able to score in the third to trim the deficit to three. Senior Katelyn Hoffman opened the frame with slap single to left before moving to second on a groundout. Hoffman came around to score on a two-out single by junior Jewel Waupekenay.

After getting out of the inning, the Marines’ offense continued to put pressure on the Hawks.

A one-out triple was followed by a RBI single to make it 6-2 before Marinette pushed its lead to five on a two-out, bloop single that landed between a trio of Hawks.

Shawano continued to battle though, scoring again in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore Naomi Wynos led off the inning with a triple before scoring on a groundout from junior Caitlyn Daniel.

Emilee Bastar came on to pitch in the top of the fifth for the Hawks and ended up working the final three innings, allowing just one run in the sixth. The strong relief outing earned the praise of Johnson, who hoped the senior would be able to use the outing as the start of a solid year on the rubber.

Trailing 8-3, Shawano looked to be on its way to a big inning in the sixth.

Herm and pinch batter Lauren Welander, a junior, hit back-to-back singles with out out before Bastar walked to load the bases. Hoffman ripped a liner to right field, which turned into an inning-ending double play after the Marines doubled the runner off second.

“We had some mental lapses on the bases that took us out of some big innings. We just can’t do that to ourselves,” coach Johnson said.

Shawano senior Bayleigh Laabs singled to open the bottom of the seventh, but the next three Hawks could not move the line.

While Shawano would have loved to open the year with a big nonconference win, the team also knows that a loss early in the season can be a big learning tool.

“Moving forward, I think we need to learn that we have to stay mentally tough through everything. No matter the score, no matter the inning, no matter a mistake that someone made, we just have to be mentally tough and ready for anything at all times,” said Waupekenay, the team’s second baseman.

“I want to say perseverance. Each pitcher we have brings their own diverse thing to the team and I think we just have to figure out how to persevere through little bumps in the road like we did (tonight),” said Herm, the starting catcher.

The Hawks will look to earn their first win of the season on Thursday when traveling to take on Bay Conference foe Xavier.