Janesville18.8°

Poynette edges Brodhead

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Mark Nesbitt
June 8, 2011
— Brodhead High School’s ace pitcher, Erika Stampfli, has been in a pitchers’ duel many times in her career.

Stampfli couldn’t work out of a jam in the bottom of the seventh inning on Tuesday. Poynette senior Brittany Kaltenberg hit a two-out, game-winning RBI chopper over Brodhead third baseman Amanda Pickel’s head to give the Pumas a thrilling 2-1 win over the Cardinals in a WIAA Division 3 sectional softball semifinal.


“Erika threw a heck of a ballgame. Maybe I should have watered down the field more,” Brodhead coach Steve Krupke said after two of the Pumas’ hits came on infield choppers. “It’s a heck of a team. They (the Pumas) are No. 1 (in the ratings) for a reason.


“They put the ball in play more than we did. If we would have put the ball in play more, we may have gotten some breaks, too.”


Stampfli remained confident even after she walked Samantha Reigel and hit Nicole Prey in the seventh with the game tied at 1-1.


“I knew we still had a chance,” said Stampfli, who struck out 11 in pitching a four-hitter. “I believed in us. I thought we would pull through it. We really made Poynette earn it.”


Brodhead senior Tia Collins went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases to lead the Cardinals. Collins, who will play softball at UW-Green Bay next season, took the loss hard.


The Cardinals (20-5) have lost in the sectional final the last two years. Poynette (25-1) moves on to the Beaver Dam sectional title game Friday, where the Pumas play Watertown Luther Prep for a trip to the state tournament.


“It’s heartbreaking,” Collins said. “I thought we had the momentum after that inning. I thought we would have been able to pull it out.”


Poynette junior Kirsten Tomlinson pitched a complete-game three-hitter. She struck out 15.


Tomlinson baffled the Cardinals for the first three innings as she retired the first nine batters and struck out seven of them.


Collins broke up Tomlinson’s no-hit bid in the fourth with a bunt single. Tomlinson, who has thrown three no-hitters this season, used a tantalizing rise ball to record several strikeouts.


“She throws hard and hits her spots,” Krupke said. “Speed is part of it. Location is a huge part of it, too. She doesn’t make mistakes. She doesn’t give you anything to drive. She’s the best we have seen.”


The game looked like it might be headed to extra innings after the Cardinals rallied from a 1-0 deficit to tie it in the seventh.


Brodhead senior Mariah Mohns lined a single to right. Stampfli hit a grounder to Poynette shortstop Tiffany Brisky, who flipped to second base, but Mohns beat the throw. Shi Strommen then walked to load the bases.


Jana Covert then came through with a suicide squeeze bunt that rolled about seven feet from home plate. Mohns scored the tying run before Poynette catcher Holly Hornback could come out and field the ball and get back to the plate for a force out.


“I was jumping up and down I was so excited,” Collins said. “It was real clutch.”


Poynette coach Bob Tomlinson is retiring after this school year. He is in his 32nd year of coaching softball, and he still has a passion to coach next season.


“I don’t have anything to prove,” Tomlinson said. “These girls have something to prove. I want to be coaching softball some place. I’m a 24-7 and 365 days softball guy.”


And he’s got at least one more game to go this season.


POYNETTE 2, BRODHEAD 1

Brodhead 000 000 1—1 4 0


Poynette 100 000 1—2 5 0


Stampfli and Collins; Tomlinson and Hornback.


Leading hitters—Collins (B) 2x3, Kaetenberg (P) 2x4. 2B—Saley (P). 3B—Tomlinson (P).


SO—Stampfli (B) 11, Tomlinson (P) 15. BB—Stampfli 1, Tomlinson 1.



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