Freedom ends Bulldogs’ season
Irish walk off field with win
By Greg Seubert
It didn’t take long for New London to raise eyebrows at the WIAA State Softball Tournament.
Emma Reismann sent the first pitch of the game over the left field fence to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead over Freedom June 10 in a Division 2 state semifinal game at Goodman Diamond in Madison.
However, Freedom erased a 10-9 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning and went on to hand the Bulldogs a season-ending 11-10 loss. The Irish advanced to the Division 2 championship game the following day and beat top-seeded Jefferson 5-4 in eight innings to win the program’s first state title.
New London added a second run in the top of the first inning after Reismann’s home run. Sommer Krull reached on Annabel Bartoszek’s error at third base, ended up at second base and scored on Kenna Mix’s single.
Freedom answered in the bottom of the first. The first two batters, Rylie Murphy and Lauren Scheibe, singled off of Mix and scored on Lizzy Wesoloski’s three-run home run that gave the Irish a 3-2 lead.
An hour-long lightning delay with two outs in the bottom of the first kept the Irish from adding to their lead and Mix retired Sadie Jarmolowicz on a ground ball to end the inning.
Freedom picked up another run in the second, as Bartoszek drew a one-out walk and scored on Murphy’s double.
The lead didn’t last long, as New London came up with seven runs in the third. Reismann led off the inning with a double, Krull singled and Molly Kable walked to load the bases with nobody out. Reismann and Krull scored on Autumn Winkleman’s single and Kable scored on Mix’s double.
Jensen Mix kept the inning alive by reaching on an error on Freedom’s Rachel Koss at first base that scored pinch runner Sophia Hull-Riggs. Jensen Mix and Kelsie Hamel later scored on Koss’ second error of the inning. Eve Hedtke, courtesy running for catcher Maribel Glodowski, scored on Brooklyn Fuerst’s sacrifice bunt to give the Bulldogs a 9-4 lead.
The Irish cut New London’s lead to 9-7 with three runs in the third on four hits and a pair of errors. Koss and Wesoloski singled to start Freedom’s rally. Koss scored on Naleyah Bork’s single and Jarmolowicz and Kierstin Kriewaldt later scored on errors.
New London added to its lead with a run in the fourth, as Kable doubled and scored on Winkleman’s single.
Freedom cut New London’s lead to 10-9 with a pair of runs in the fifth on three hits and another error. Kriewaldt and Bartoszek had one-out singles. Kriewaldt scored on an error and Marlee Smith, running for Kaia McVay, scored on a passed ball.
Neither team scored in the sixth inning and Bork held New London scoreless in the top of the seventh. Jensen Mix reached on a two-out single and Glodowski was hit by a pitch, but Bork got Fuerst to pop up to Bartoszek in foul territory.
Bartoszek led off Freedom’s half of the seventh with a walk, moved to second on an error and scored on Murphy’s triple that tied the game at 10-10, Scheibe, the next batter, then drove in Murphy with the winning run on a fly ball to left field.
Kenna Mix went the distance on the mound for New London and gave up 14 hits and eight earned runs. Bork gave up 13 hits while picking up the win.
Reismann had three of New London’s hits, while Winkleman, Kenna Mix and Glodowski had two each. Winkleman also drove in a team-high three runs and Kenna Mix added two.
Murphy had five hits to lead Freedom at the plate, scored twice and also drove in a pair.
“That was a fun game,” co-coach Tony Porath said. “You don’t want to lose, but you’re happy to be here and you have to look at the positives. Somebody’s going to lose. It was back-and-forth and they got one more run than us. The crowd got their money’s worth.”
• All four area conferences had at least one team at state. Kaukauna and Oshkosh West out of the Fox Valley Association competed in Division 1; Freedom and New London represented the North Eastern and Bay conferences, respectively, in Division 2; and Iola-Scandinavia, out of the Central Wisconsin Conference-East, made it in Division 4.
• In the other four championship games, Kaukauna repeated as Division 1 state champion with an 11-3 win over Sun Prairie, Poynette defeated New Holstein 5-3 in the Division 3 title game, Grantsburg topped Horicon 3-2 in Division 4 and Assumption handed Barneveld a 3-1 loss in Division 5.