MADISON--The state runner-up trophy served as little consolation to Beloit Turner's softball team Saturday.
The Trojans scratched and clawed their way back into the WIAA Division 2 title game at Goodman Diamond and forced extra innings.
Unfortunately for Turner, a potent Rice Lake offense continued its onslaught with four runs in the eighth inning en route to a 13-9 victory.
Johanna Hrdlicka drove in four runs, including a long home run, as Rice Lake won its second state title and first since 2004.
The six-time defending Rock Valley South-champion Trojans finished the season 24-3 and earned the program's second silver ball.
“In the long run, I think the trophy will mean a lot,” junior catcher Olivia Mikkelson said. “But right now it hurts because we didn't play our best.
“Our bats just didn't come around soon enough today, and they (Rice Lake) hit the ball in some spots that we weren't able to cover. We didn't quit, but we just came up short.”
Turner came into the game having allowed only three runs in its last six games combined. But Rice Lake got five in a disastrous third inning for the Trojans.
Turner, however, finally got the offense rolling and eventually tied the game in the seventh after trailing 8-2 in the sixth.
Trinity Fry and Mackenna Fobes had RBI doubles for Turner in the seventh to slice he lead to 9-7.
With two outs and nobody on, Bre Noack singled and Sydney Ortiz followed with an RBI double to get the Trojans within a run. Carson Nitz then ripped an RBI single to right to score pinch runner Mara Fowler to tie the game. Nitz was tagged out at second for the third out trying to advance on the throw home.
Rice Lake (19-7) responded quickly with four runs in the eighth, including one on Hrdlicka's fourth RBI of the game that made it 11-9.
The teams combined for 26 hits, including 10 for extra bases.
Both teams also struggled defensively, combining for eight errors.
“I'm proud of the way these girls came back and fought until the end,” Turner coach Regan Peters said. “It's unbelievable, because they're just bunch of kids when you think about it, but they've played hard all year and had an incredible season.
“We're not content with the runner-up trophy, but we're certainly proud.”
RICE LAKE 13, TURNER 9 (8)
Rice Lake 005 003 14—13 13 4
Beloit Turner 000 203 40—9 13 4
Hrdlicka, Fell (8) and Soley; Packard and Mikkelson
Leading hitters—Scheurer (RL) 3x5, Soley (RL) 2x5, Robarge (RL) 2x4, Hrlicka (RL) 3x5, Hill-Brown (T) 2x5, Packard (T) 2x5, Fobes (T) 3x4, Nitz (T) 2x4. 2B—Soley, Robarge, Hrlicka, Packard, Fry (T), Fobes 2, Ortiz (T), Nitz. HR—Hrlicka.
SO—Hrdlicka 7, Fell 1, Packard 8. BB—Hrdlicka 2, Packard 5.