Wisconsin state softball: Waukesha Catholic Memorial rallies by Baldwin-Woodville in final innings

Wisconsin state softball: Waukesha Catholic Memorial rallies by Baldwin-Woodville in final innings

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Baldwin-Woodville’s dream season ended in heartbreak.

Waukesha Catholic Memorial scored twice in the top of the seventh to rally for a 5-4 victory Wednesday night over the previously undefeated Blackhawks in the Division 2 title game of the WIAA state softball tournament.

Baldwin-Woodville (22-1) had taken a 4-3 lead with two runs in the sixth.

Baldwin-Woodville’s Jordyn Letter scores against Waukesha Catholic Memorial in the second inning of the Division 2 championship game Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (Jim Hoehn / Special to the Pioneer Press)

“The kids kept battling,” said Baldwin-Woodville coach Tim Klatt. “We were down one going into the bottom of the sixth and kept fighting. You’ve got to take hats off to Catholic Memorial — a heck of a hitting lineup.”

Catholic Memorial loaded the bases with three consecutive singles to open the seventh inning. Abby Smith’s bloop single into shallow left scored both runs.

The Crusaders then loaded the bases, but Morgan Smetana worked out of it with a force at home, a strikeout, and a groundout to second.

The Blackhawks got a runner aboard in the seventh when Trinity Mittl singled with one out. After taking a lead, she slipped going back to the bag and was picked off by catcher Cassie Smith.

Abby Smith earned the complete-game victory. The Winona State recruit allowed four runs on 11 hits, striking out five with no walks for the Crusaders.

Smetana, who struck out 18 in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 win over Marinette in the semifinals earlier in the day, allowed five hits —four earned — on nine hits, striking out seven and walking three.

“We had some opportunities. We didn’t come up with the big hit,” Klatt said. “We left seven people on base, I think, in innings one through six, and of those, I think four or five were on second or third. We just couldn’t get that clutch two-out hit.”

Baldwin-Woodville took a 4-3 lead with two runs in the sixth with the aid of three perfectly executed bunts.

Ashley Fuffer opened with a double to the warning track in left. Morgan Hable followed with a slow-rolling bunt down the first-base line, that Abby Smith touched in fair territory. Hable reached and Fuffer came around to score on the error when Abby Smith bobbled the ball.

Marney Roemhild then reached on a bunt that stayed fair along the third-base line. Both runners advanced on Brooke Klatt’s sacrifice bunt. Smetana’s groundout to short scored pinch runner Abigail Nilssen with the go-ahead run.

The Blackhawks have advanced to the title game in each of their four state tournament appearances, winning it all 2012 and finishing runner-up in 2011 and 2013

Catholic Memorial erased an early two-run deficit with a run in the third and two in the fifth.

Catholic Memorial went in front 3-2 in the fifth on an RBI single by Cassie Smith and a run-scoring passed ball.

After a weather delay of almost an hour at the start of the second inning, the Blackhawks pushed across two runs in the bottom half.

Trinity Mittl opened with a double to left field. Jordyn Letter followed with an RBI single to left, taking second on an error. Fuffer singled home Letter to make it 2-0.

The start of the game was delayed almost an hour because of rain and then suspended again in the top of the second for almost another hour due to lightning and rain.

Fourth-seeded Catholic Memorial, appearing in the state public school tournament for the first time, advanced to the title game with 4-3 victory over previously undefeated Jefferson in the semifinals. Catholic Memorial (21-9) started the season 2-6 and finished fifth in the Classic 8 Conference, consisting of mostly Division 1 schools.

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