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Softball splits with B-W, West Allis

<i>Bob Burrows photo</i> Wildcat pitcher Lauren Cernohous throws to first base after fielding a bunt in the second inning of the Cats' 6-5 loss to Baldwin-Woodville May 13 at the RF high school field.

Wildcat softball coach Rick Hansen said his team played about as well as it could in its last two games. But the Cats came away with just one win to show for it.

After Baldwin-Woodville scored two runs in the seventh to come from behind and beat the Cats 6-5 May 13 in River Falls, the Cats hit the road Saturday and came home with a 7-4 victory over West Allis.

The Cats, now 4-12 overall, returned to Big Rivers Conference action May 18 at home against Rice Lake. They visit New Richmond for a nonconference game May 20 before traveling to Eau Claire North on May 25.

In the May 13 game against Baldwin-Woodville, the Wildcats erased a 1-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the second. After Baldwin-Woodville scored three in the top of the fourth, the Cats took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the inning when Ashley Temme led off with a single, moved to second on an error and to third on a sacrifice by Justine Olson before scoring on a groundout by Bethany O'Leary.

But the Blackhawks strung together four straight singles in the top of the seventh that resulted in a pair of runs to make the final 6-5.

"Even though we lost, I felt we played pretty well," Hansen said. "A couple of more hits and we would have won the game. A couple of extra hits, or a play in the field, the result of this game would have been different. That's softball though, the team that makes the plays when they need them wins."

Pam Obermueller had two hits and two RBI in the loss while Temme had two hits, an RBI, and scored two runs and Lauren Cernohous doubled and scored.

Cernohous went the distance on the mound, allowing six runs, two earned, while striking out four and walking none.

"Lauren pitched a good game tonight," Hansen said. "She looked like she had more on her ball."

May 15 at West Allis, the Cats scored three runs in the first and broke the game open with four runs in the sixth on their way to a 7-4 victory.

Obermueller doubled in O'Leary for the first run of the game and later scored on a base hit by Caitlyn Ahlborn. A single by Temme plated Masy Engel with the Cats' third run of the inning.

West Allis came back to tie the score with single runs in the first, second and fourth innings before River Falls scored four times in the top of the sixth to take a 7-3 lead.

Ahlborn led off with a single and Temme reached on an error before Rachel Matzek walked to load the bases. Olson singled in Ahlborn and Temme scored on a sacrifice fly by O'Leary before Obermueller walked to load the bases again with one out. A single by Hayley Heschke scored Matzek and another sacrifice fly, this time by Engel, allowed Olson to score.

Ahlborn went 4-for-4 in the win while Cernohous allowed just one earned run on seven hits while striking out four and walking three to earn the complete-game victory on the mound.

"We were able to string some hits together to score all our runs in two innings," Hansen said. "Overall, I felt we played as well as we can over the last two games. The girls are giving everything they have. That's all I can ask for as a coach."

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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