Monroe advances to state softball tourney
Emily Rufenacht is a hero again for Monroe High School.
Rufenacht hit the three-point goal that sent the eventual Division 2 champions to the girls WIAA state basketball tournament in March and delivered the key blow Thursday in Monroe’s march to the state softball tournament.
The junior shortstop drilled a double to right-center field, scoring Maggie Schuttler with one out in the eighth inning to give the Cheesemakers a 1-0 victory over Prairie du Chien in the championship game of the Whitewater Sectional.
That put Monroe in the state tournament for the first time since winning the Division 2 title in 2003 and taking second in 2004. The Cheesemakers (21-2) play Rice Lake in the Division 2 semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at Goodman Diamond in Madison.
Monroe reached the sectional title game by whipping Jefferson, 8-0, earlier Wednesday. Prairie du Chien advanced with a 3-1 win over Columbus.
Then came the intense drama to decide the sectional champion. Renee Schuttler (14-0), Monroe’s ace pitcher, had 16 strikeouts and got her second win of the day, but not before withstanding Prairie du Chien’s 10 hits and two major threats.
Prairie du Chien, which stranded 11 runners, loaded the bases with one out in the second. The Cheesemakers escaped, however, with a fielder’s choice for a force-out at home, followed by a strikeout.
Right fielder Brandi Trewartha then saved the day for Monroe by throwing out Candace Kazynski at the plate to end Prairie du Chien’s seventh inning. Kazynski started the uprising with a one-out single, advanced on a sacrifice and headed home for what appeared to be the game’s first run after Laken Polodna singled to right-center.
Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, Monroe was not to be denied. Maggie Schuttler got a Texas League single with one out, then scored the only run when Rufenacht connected on a blast to the fence in right-center.
Rufenacht’s three-point goal in closing seconds jolted Delavan-Darien, 49-46, in a sectional basketball championship game at Janesville Craig. Monroe then downed Altoona and Freedom to capture the state title.
Coach Dale Buvid obviously hopes Rufenacht has spearheaded a similar fate for his Badger South softball champions.
“Half of it is getting there,’’ he said of the trip to state. “Now we’ll see what we can do.’’
MONROE 1, PRAIRIE DU CHIEN 0
Prairie du Chien 000 000 00—0 10 1
Monroe 000 000 01—1 6 2
George and Polodna; R. Schuttler and Kaiser.
Leading hitters—Polodna (P) 3x4, Fritz (P) 2x4, Rufenacht (M) 2x4. 2B—Kaiser (M), Rufenacht (M). 3B—Polodna (M).
SO—George 3, R. Schuttler 16. BB—George 2.
Monroe 8, Jefferson 0—Renee Schuttler and Carlie Olsen teamed up for two-hit pitching as Monroe rolled over Jefferson in Whitewater sectional semifinals.
Jefferson’s hits were singles in the second and fourth inning. Schuttler and Olsen combined for 10 strikeouts, walked nobody and facing only 23 batters—two over the minimum.
Kylie Kaiser’s bases-loaded walk in the third gave Monroe a 1-0 lead. Katie Lenz had an RBI triple in the fifth, and Kaiser added a two-run double in the sixth.
MONROE 8, JEFFERSON 0
Jefferson 000 000 0—0 2 3
Monroe 001 223 x—8 11 0
Lynse and Fetherston; R. Schuttler, Olsen (5) and Kaiser.
Leading hitters—Rackow (M) 2x4, Rufenacht (M) 2x3, Kaiser (M) 3x3. 2B—Kaiser (M). 3B—Lenz (M).
SO—Lunse (J) 3, R. Schuttler (M) 6, Olsen (M) 4. BB—Lynse 3.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN 3, COLUMBUS 1
Columbus 000 001 0—1 4 3
Prairie du Chien 000 120 x—3 4 1
Bublitz and Pellet; George and Polodna.
SO—Bublitz (Co) 4, George (P) 6. BB—Bublitz 3, George 1.
Verona High School has earned an eighth straight trip to the WIAA Division 1 state softball tournament.
The Wildcats overpowered Beloit Memorial, 11-3, Thursday in the semifinals of the Wilmot Sectional and took the title with a 2-1 win over Kenosha Bradford.
Bradford advanced to the sectional final with a 7-2 victory over Lake Geneva Badger.
Verona (15-5) left Beloit behind in a three-run first inning and went on to an 11-hit attack. Cherise Decorah went 3-for-3 to lead the Wildcats, and Bridget Walters was 2-for-3 to pace the Purple Knights.
Bev Nordin pitched a four-hitter, including 10 strikeouts, for the Wildcats in the semifinals and won a seven-hitter in the title game.
Verona withstood Alyssa Roberts’ three-hit pitching to spoil Bradford’s third straight trip to the sectional finals. The Wildcats overcame a 1-0 deficit with both of their runs in the bottom of the sixth and left the Red Devils with a 20-2 season record.
Verona plays future Big Eight Conference rival Middleton at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the state quarterfinals at Goodman Diamond in Madison.
VERONA 11, BELOIT 3
Beloit Memorial 012 000 0—3 4 0
Verona 303 023 x—11 11 0
Culver, Goecks (3) and Masterson; Nordin and Kermicle.
Leading hitters—Walters (BM) 2x3, Decorah (V) 3x3, Brose (V) 2x3.
SO—Culver (BM) 2, Goecks (BM) 7, Nordin (V) 10. BB—Culver 1, Goecks 4, Nordin 4.
BRADFORD 7, BADGER 2
Kenosha Bradford 002 000 5—7 8 3
Lake Geneva Badger 100 010 0—2 4 2
Brems and Mikolas; Hutkowski and Gremo.
2B—Mercier (KB), Mikolas (KB), Carlson (KB).
VERONA 2, BRADFORD 1
Kenosha Bradford 000 001 0—1 7 4
Verona 000 002 x—2 3 3
Roberts and Mikolas; Nordin and Kermicle.
Leading hitters—Mikolas (KB) 2x3, Swagger (KB).
SO—Roberts (KB) 10, Nordin (V) 9. BB—Nordin 2.
Beloit Turner High School came within a game of reaching the WIAA Division 3 state softball tournament.
Ilse Fritz and Zoe Hale led Turner past Deerfield, 7-0, Thursday in the semifinals of the Lancaster Sectional, but the Trojans dropped a 3-0 decision to La Crosse Aquinas in the championship game.
Aquinas defeated Lancaster, 4-0, in the other semifinal game.
Fritz pitched a five-hitter against Deerfield, and Hale went 4-for-5 to lead Turner’s 13-hit attack.
Aquinas broke a scoreless tie with a fourth-inning run, then added two in the fifth to win the title game.
TURNER 7, DEERFIELD 0
Beloit Turner 202 201 0—7 13 2
Deerfield 000 000 0—0 5 1
Fritz and Hale; Gulbranson and Gosdeck.
Leading hitters—Hendricks (BT) 2x4, Jordan (BT) 2x5, Fritz (BT) 2x5, Hale (BT) 4x5, Gosdeck (D) 2x3. 2B—Gosdeck (D), Fritz (BT), Jordan (BT) 2, Peach (BT).
SO—Fritz (BT) 5, Gulbranson (D) 5. BB—Gulbranson 3.
AQUINAS 3, TURNER 0
Beloit Turner 000 000 0—0 5 3
La Crosse Aquinas 000 120 x—3 7 3
Fritz and Hale; Martin.
Leading hitters—Jordan (BT) 2x2. 2B—Jordan (BT), Gilles (LA), Kelly (LA).
SO—Fritz (BT) 4, Martin (LA) 8. BB—Fritz 1, Martin 1.