Long ball lifts CatsThe Wildcat softball team hasn’t been known for the long ball this season. But they hit two home runs to defeat Hudson in a WIAA regional semifinal Tuesday, May 29.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The Wildcat softball team hasn’t been known for the long ball this season. But they hit two home runs to defeat Hudson in a WIAA regional semifinal Tuesday, May 29.
Sophomore Carlie Christensen hit a two-run shot in the third inning to erase a 1-0 Hudson lead, and senior Hayley Heschke hit a solo homer in the top of the seventh to snap a 2-1 tie and lift the sixth-seeded Wildcats to a 3-2 victory over No. 3 Hudson on the Raiders’ home field.
The two home runs, along with errorless play in the field, were all the Cats needed to back up a three-hit effort by pitcher Bailey Ullom, who went the distance for her first career playoff victory.
“The girls just did a fantastic job,” Wildcat coach Holly Huppert said. “I am so proud of them.”
Abby James reached base all three times she went to the plate and played flawless in center field while shortstop Masy Engel had what Huppert called a “gold glove,” getting to balls that would test any shortstop’s range.
Ullom didn’t allow a hit to the Raiders’ No. 1 through No. 5 batters. Hudson’s only runs came on a home run by Brooke Little in the second inning and an RBI sacrifice fly by Kindra Witthus in the fifth.
The victory sent the Wildcats to Saturday’s regional final in Eau Claire, where No. 2 seed Eau Claire North strung together seven runs in the first two innings on its way to an 8-1 victory.
The Wildcats’ lone run came on a third-inning RBI single by Haleigh Barnabo that scored Casey Ahlborn.
Christensen was 3-for-3 with two doubles in the loss while James, Barnabo, Engel and Ahlborn all had one hit each.
Ullom started and took the loss on the mound. Amanda Grove worked five innings of relief and allowed three earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
The Wildcats ended the season with a record of 4-17.
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