Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.

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Softball: Shawano cruises past Clintonville in regional quarterfinal

Habeck drives in five to back strong pitching duo
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By Morgan Rode sports@newmedia-wi.com


Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Clintonville’s Mercede Lorge, right leaps to make the catch while Shawano’s Abi Vomastic slides into second base during Thursday’s Division 2 regional quarterfinal game at Martzke Park.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Emilee Bastar delivers a pitch during the team’s Division 2 regional quarterfinal win over Clintonville at Martzke Park on Thursday.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Naomi Wynos follows through after delivering a hit during Thursday’s Division 2 regional quarterfinal game at Martzke Park.

An aggressive offensive approach helped the Shawano Community High School softball team overcome an early deficit and cruise to a 12-1 regional quarterfinal victory in five innings over Clintonville at Martzke Park in Shawano on Thursday.

After Clintonville manufactured a run in the first, Shawano responded with a three-run frame in the bottom half. The Hawks keep the pressure on from there, scoring at least once in every inning.

“I’ll be honest, when we saw the kid from Clintonville on the mound (junior Hannah Baird), I was a little nervous. She’s a very nice pitcher and she’s got nice pop on the ball,” said Shawano coach Brian Johnson. “We made a couple tweaks in the lineup and they paid off. (Junior) Jewel (Waupekenay) had a big night. The bottom of the order came through big for us tonight, especially some of our subs.”

Shawano sophomore Naomi Wynos got the bottom of the first started with a single. Wynos made her way to third before scoring on a grounder from junior Gracyn Habeck.

With two outs, Waupekenay tripled to score Habeck. Sophomore Taylor Johnson then singled to score Waupekenay and make it 3-1.

Shawano added three more in the second inning, highlighted by a RBI single from Wynos and a two-RBI single from Habeck. The inning started with back-to-back singles from juniors Sarah Mente and Macie Herm.

In the third, junior Abi Vomastic singled with one out before stealing second and third — she scored the run in the inning to extend the host’s lead to 7-1.

After allowing Clintonville’s leadoff batter to reach base and come around to score in the first, Taylor Johnson turned things around in the circle.

She worked around a one-out single in the second inning before tossing a clean third inning. Over those three innings, Johnson struck out three batters.

“I was just trying to move the ball and have a lot of different change of speed pitches to keep them off balance,” Taylor Johnson said.

With Shawano up by six, Johnson elected to put senior Emilee Bastar in the circle to try and seal up the win.

Bastar picked up where Johnson left off, tossing two strong innings. She allowed just one baserunner over that span.

“I think my mentality had a lot to do with how I pitched. Just knowing that this is my last year and if I slack in any way, shape or form, that’s it for me. My mentality had me set because we needed a win because I’m not ready to be done yet,” Bastar said.

Shawano pushed across two more runs in the fourth to extend its lead to eight.

Pinch-batter Isabella Buettner, a junior, walked to open the inning. Senior Kate Hoffman then came in to run and proceeded to steal second and third base.

Hoffman scored on a grounder from senior Bayleigh Laabs, who advanced to second after a Clintonville error. After a groundout moved Laabs to third, she scored on a passed ball.

In the fifth, junior Caitlin Daniel, freshman Margo Gull and Wynos all singled to load the bases. Hoffman then singled to score Daniel.

Habeck then stepped to the plate and delivered a two-RBI double to the center field fence to help the hosts reach the 10-run rule.

Habeck finished with five RBIs.

“I just liked her pitching. I finally figured out how to time pitchers better and the contact for me has gotten better and better as the year has gone on,” Habeck said.

Shawano finished with 12 hits in the game. The Hawks know they will need to continue to have their offense put the pressure on opposing teams, especially as the competition gets tougher.

The team hopes its win over Clintonville gave the group some confidence that it can carry over into the next game.

“I hope a lot of confidence. They (Clintonville) were a good team,” Bastar said. “With Denmark next, this game should give us confidence with how well we did, how well we played together and just everything went so smoothly that it should give us a boost for the next games to come.”

The win moves Shawano (8-11) into a Division 2 regional semifinal where they will face second-seeded Denmark. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start at Veterans Memorial Field in Denmark on Tuesday.

Baird was the one who delivered Clintonville’s first inning run, scoring junior Abigail King with a single.

Baird pitched all four inning for the Truckers (4-16). She struck out out six batters.

“I think we came out excited to play. We were coming off three wins in a row so I think we were feeling really good and proud, and then I don’t know if we got nervous on defense because we just couldn’t execute plays,” said Clintonville coach Dana Chaney. “We had some silly errors that we don’t typically make. We are a very mental team, where if we make a mistake, then we feel bad and can’t bounce back.”