Defense shines, SPASH claims regional title in shutout win versus Wisconsin Rapids
By Jacob Heid
PLOVER – A game prior, in the regional semi-finals, SPASH softball put up 15 runs in its win versus Eau Claire Memorial. The regional final on May 26 was a different story. The runs were hard to come by, with both teams making tremendous plays. The Panthers scraped out a win to advance to sectionals with a 3-0 victory.
“They (Wisconsin Rapids) play great defense, so you have to scrap out runs when you get opportunities,” head coach Tom Drohner said.
That’s exactly what the Panthers did, starting in the second inning when senior Zoe Fink hit a no-doubter over the left-field fence to open the game’s scoring.
“Early on they were pressuring us, and it felt like they had all the momentum,” Drohner said. “But when Zoey hit that long home run, we kind of seized the momentum right there. I felt like from that point on, we were the aggressor.”
Rapids kept applying pressure on the bases, but SPASH’s defense always made a play. The fifth inning was the big point in the game. The Panthers’ offense was able to stretch the inning into a long one, scoring its other runs in the frame.
Senior Ashlyn O’Neal lined one into left field, scoring the second run for SPASH. Keeping the pressure up, senior Maddy Miklesh hit a blooper into left, scoring the third and final run of the game. The bottom of the fifth brought along an even bigger momentum swing in the Panthers’ favor.
SPASH continued its defensive dominance in the sixth and seventh to keep the shutout intact.
The Panthers advance to the Sectional semi-finals, where they will face No.2 Marshfield on the road.
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