Izabella Regner was feeling it on Thursday.
Batter after batter, the Elkhorn pitcher continued to frustrate visiting Lake Geneva Badger with her elusive curveball.
The Elkhorn junior struck out 15 Badger batters in a 1-0 WIAA regional final win on Thursday.
“It’s never easy to beat a team three times, so hats off to Badger because they came to play,” Elkhorn head coach Steve Remington said. “But Izzy was dealing tonight.”
Regner knew she had to be on her game beginning with the first pitch.
“I felt pretty confident,” she said. “I knew I had to hit my spots to get my outs because I knew they could hit it well if I didn’t.”
Regner’s counterpart, Badger senior Seneca Peterson, impressed with 12 strikeouts of her own. Badger intentionally walked a batter, but the pitchers threw no natural walks.
By the fourth inning, Regner and Peterson had combined for 17 strikeouts. In the fourth, top-seeded Elkhorn found a way to break a scoreless tie with the eighth-seeded Badgers.
Elkhorn’s Haley Remington began the inning with a double before stealing third base.
After a deep fly ball to center field, Remington tagged up and scored to make it 1-0. Elkhorn’s Christina Crawford hit a double in the next at-bat, but Peterson struck out the next batter to stop the scoring.
The Elks loaded the bases in the fifth inning after the Badgers intentionally walked an Elkhorn batter, but Peterson, an Alverno College commit, struck out the next batter to end the inning.
“She knows where to put it, when to put it there and how hard to throw it,” Badger coach Glen York said of Peterson.
In the sixth inning, the Badgers’ Leah Sanders was tagged out at third base trying to stretch a double to a triple. A Madison Hunt double in the seventh gave the Badgers some life with two outs, but Regner closed the game with a strikeout.
“They’re obviously a very good team. We just couldn’t get that one or two runs in,” York said.
For Remington, Thursday’s game was a good example of how the Elks need to play in the sectional round. Elkhorn will host a sectional semifinal game Tuesday against Beloit Memorial, a 5-4 winner over Waterford on Thursday.
“These girls showed their fight tonight. We just need to keep fighting, and if our pitching keeps up like this, we will do alright,” Remington said.
ELKHORN 1, BADGER 0
Badger 000 000 0—0 3 1
Elkhorn 000 100 x—1 4 1
Leading hitters—Rand (E) 2x2. 2B—Sanders, Hunt, Remington, Christina Crawford (E).
SO—Regner 15, Peterson 12. BB—Peterson 1.