Wildcats Softball Gets #8 Seed for Regionals


June 10, 2021

Photo courtesy of Tricia Kittleson

Belleville's Kailey Prochaska pitching at the Marshall game.

The Belleville Wildcats softball team had three games in four days last week.

On June 2nd, the Wildcats played Cambridge and lost 1-9 in 7 full innings. The win for Cambridge meant that they clinched the conference championship - the first in school history.

"It's been a while since we went a full 7 innings," commented Coach Connie Wunschel. "I think that outside the six strikeouts, the story is that we were hitting the ball and putting it in play. Problem was it was right to a player. But that's much more fun!!"

Belleville were pretty much 1-2-3 at bat until the 5th inning when Kailey Prochaska walked, Lindsay Kittleson had a base hit for the runners on 1st and 2nd, followed by a hit by Claire Patrow that squeaked past Cambridge's second baseman and scored Kailey for the team's only run.

Kailey Prochaska took the loss on the mound, striking out 3 and walking 6. She only gave up 7 hits, with 4 runs earned.

The Wildcats committed 3 errors. "We just didn't time the walks and the errors right. They had only scored 7 runs on us going into the 7th, when we fell asleep and allowed them back to back bunts for base hits, and an error to allow 2 more runs," said Wunschel.

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On June 3rd, the Wildcats played against Marshall on Parent and Senior Night. It was also Belleville's last conference game and their last home game of the season. The last time Belleville and Marshall met, Belleville took the loss by 3 runs and they were hoping for a win this time, but Marshall had other plans and won the game. The final score was Marshall 15, Belleville 3, in 5 innings.

"Started off with Marshall scoring 7 runs in the very first inning, going around their order, plus 3. They had 7 straight hits. The 2nd inning we shut them down, but the 3rd inning was more of the same as they scored 7 more runs. Kailey (Prochaska) got in trouble when she walked the first batter, hit the 2nd batter, walked the next batter, then gave up a double for 2 runs, and another hit for two more runs," explained Wunschel. "After another hit batter, Lindsey Kittleson was brought in to pitch (3rd inning). She faced 13 batters, gave up no runs, walked her first 2 batters, but her defense helped out only allowing 2 hits, and she struck out 1. CC (Grefsheim) made a really nice catch on a foul ball to end the 5th inning."

The Wildcats struck out 6 times with no walks. They had 7 hits, but could not string them together. In the 2nd inning, Raina Nicholson led the team off with a base hit and moved to second on an error off Lindsay Kittleson's grounder and both moved up a base on a passed ball. The next two batters struck out and then Karena Simmons had a base hit to right field to scored Nicholson, followed by Micky Stampfl's base hit to score Kittleson. In the bottom of the 5th, a lead-off base hit by Stampfl lead to her moving to third on a grounder by Mackenzie Downing that was misplayed and scoring on a ground out by CC Grefsheim.

Micky Stampfl went 2x3 at bat with 1 run scored and 1 RBI, while Mackenzie Downing was 1x3, Karena Simmons was 1x2 with 1 RBI.

"But the night belonged to Raina, who went 3 for 3 on Senior Night. Scored once and had a stolen base," said Wunschel.

On June 5th, Belleville played Dodgeville. Belleville lost, 1-11.

"We had some good defense in the 1st 2 innings, only allowing them 2 runs in the 2nd," said Wunschel. "Walks and pitches in the dirt were what got us, but damage was stymied in the 2nd with a double play by Micky Stampfl at short stop - line shot to her up the middle for out #2 and a throw to 1st to get the runner off the base to end that inning. After that, Kaylie's command seemed to leave her as she walked a couple in the 3rd, a double and an error and they plated 4 runs."

In the 4th inning, Dodgeville scored 4 more runs to bring the score to 10-0 in their favor. Belleville scored their single run in the 4th, with Micky Stampfl reaching on an error, moving to second on a wild pitch, and then getting to third base on a ground out by CC Grefsheim. Kailey Prochaska then hit a shot to left to score Stampfl.

As a team, the Wildcats struck out 7 times and Prochaska had the team's only base hit.

"I thought we played really well against a team that is ranked in state and has a high rank in our regionals," said Wunschel. "It's just the little things that get us. Score could have been much better...and somewhere along the line, those bats have to get going!!"

The Wildcats are seeded #9 for Regionals and played at #8 seeded Richland Center on June 9th. The winner of that game will face #1 River Valley on Monday, June 14th, in River Valley.


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