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MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U CO-GAME OF THE WEEK (WIAA D4 Softball): Cuba City 9, Horicon 3
Cuba City routs Horicon to reach first WIAA softball state tournament
Cuba City softball
The Cuba City softball team defeated #3-ranked Horicon 9–3 in the Boscobel sectional final last Thursday to qualify for its first trip to the WIAA Softball State Tournament (photo by Casey Lindecrantz).

WIAA DIVISION 4 SOFTBALL: #4 Cuba City 9, #3 Horicon 3

By Casey Lindecrantz, Tri-County Press

Next stop, Madison: Cubans rout Horicon to advance to first WIAA softball state tournament

LBOSCOBEL — For the first time in program history, Cuba City (22-2, 12-2 SWAL) softball is in the final four as it bested 1st-seeded Horicon (21-3) in the WIAA Division 4 Sectional Finals in Boscobel on Thursday, 9-3.

Neither squad waited longer than the first two innings to score a run, though the Marshladies started quicker.

A pair of runs in the bottom of the first signaled an early 2-0 deficit for the Cubans, something they were eager to avoid.

The next half inning proved fruitful for Cuba City. Ella Vosberg opened her squad with a ground out, before Brooke Droessler reached second thanks to an error out of left field. Ayla Nolan was next up, and her hit resulted in a triple, also scoring Droessler as errors plagued Horicon.

A ground out from Payton Gile, and a fly out resulted in a slimmed deficit for the Cubans.

Cuba City got through the bottom of the frame in order, thanks to pitch work from Gile, as well as fielding. Ella Vosberg snatched the first ball out of the sky, and Summer Rogers made a running catch in foul territory to bookend a strikeout.

Errors abounded in the third inning, with Schauff kicking off at-bats reaching first base on an error at third.

Rogers followed that up thrown out at first on a bunt attempt, though Schauff advanced to second.

Josie Kruser was next up, and she made the most of her time. As she led with a 2-1 count, she let loose on a pitch, and a 2-run home run was hers. The resulting lead change served as a stepping stone for the Cubans, who didn’t see a tie or deficit for the remaining four innings.

A ground out against Droessler ended the inning in a 3-2 split favoring Cuba City.

The fourth inning went by with almost no noise — Horicon had one batter reach base by being hit by a pitch, while Trina Redfern hit a fly ball to right field that resulted in a single.

The fifth saw the Cubans push their lead. Rogers and Kruser both tagged on base — the former was hit by a pitch while the latter reached on an error from the Marshladies. Kraus bunted and was thrown at first. Rogers and Kruser took advantage, advancing to third and second, respectively. 

Vosberg was next up, and she attacked early. Following a ball, she hit a foul, then hit a bomb to center field. Unfortunately, the ball was caught, but Rogers and Kruser tagged up. Rogers made it home while Kruser advanced to third. Droessler closed the inning with a fly out to center field.

Horicon added a single score to its run column in the bottom of the fifth, but that was negated by Cuba City in the sixth.

Nolan and Gile kicked off their squads frame with a double and a single. Redfern was struck out for the first Cuban out. Schauff earned a double on an error in center field. Nolan tagged home, while Gile’s courtesy runner, Emily Wiegman made it to third.

Rogers grounded out on the next at-bat, but she rang in Wiegman in the process. Schauff was then picked off at third to close out the sixth with Cuba City leading, 6-3.

The Marshladies reached first in their opening at-bat thanks to an error, but then the Cubans locked in. Gile earned a strikeout over four pitches for the first out, followed by racing to catch a bunt hit high for the second. The third out came as a ground ball was scooped up by Gile, who fired a throw to Kruser at first.

Cuba City secured another run burst in the seventh.

Kruser singled with a ground ball to center field first, and Lainey Runde was brought in as a courtesy runner. Runde then stole second on the next at-bat. Kraus was up, and after four pitches — two balls, a strike, and a foul ball — she hit a single to left field, scoring Runde.

Vosberg grounded into a fielder’s choice that knocked out Kraus as she advanced to second. Droessler hit a double fly ball to left field, getting herself and Vosberg into scoring position.

Nolan was struck out swinging, then Gile struck again. She singled with a fly ball to center field. Both Droessler and Vosberg tagged home, putting the Cubans ahead 9-3. Redfern was struck out swinging.

Horicon tried putting up a fight in the final frame, but it was met with stiff resistance. 

A fly out fell in Nolan’s glove for the first out, then an error at third put the Marshladies’ first runner on base. Horicon flew out again, with Vosberg scoring the catch.

After five pitches on the fourth batter of the inning, the Marshladies ended up with a walk, and a runner on first and second.

The final batter took eight pitches for Gile to dispatch, as she fouled on six of them.

As the final strike was called, Gile turned toward Rogers at third base as Cuba City raced to meet its pitcher to celebrate its first ticket to State.

The path to the Sectional Final was earned with a win over 4th-seeded Fennimore (13–8) at home on Tuesday, 2-0. 

Schauff and Droessler led the Cubans with a two-for-three day. 

Gile earned the win with a 7-inning effort, allowing three hits and no runs along with striking out 11 batters and walking one.

Two games in Madison stand betwen Cuba City and a championship. First up is the State Semifinal, where the 2nd-seeded Cubans play against No. 3-seeded Auburndale (21–3) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Should it win, Cuba City will play the winner of 1st-seeded Fall Creek (28-2) against 4th-seeded Coleman (21–4) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

WIAA Division 4 Sectional Semifinal
No. 2 Cuba City 2, No. 4 Fennimore 0
(from Tuesday, May 28 @ Cuba City)
Fennimore....000 000 0 —  0  3  4
Cuba City......200 154 X —  2  5  2
Leading hitters — F: Jenna James 1x3, Jessa Braudt 1x3, Wren Hipenbecker 1x3; CC: Addy Schauff 2x3, Brooke Droessler 2x3, Payton Gile 1x3.
W — Gile (7IP, 3H, 0R, 11K, 1BB). L — Kayahna Furrer (6IP, 5H, 2R, 5K, 2BB).

WIAA Division 4 Sectional Final
No. 2 Cuba City 9, No. 1 Horicon 3
(from Thursday, May 30 @ Boscobel)
Cuba City....012 012 3 — 9  9  3
Horicon.......200 010 0 — 3  2  7
Leading hitters — CC: Josie Kruser 2x4 (2RBI), Gile 2x4 (2RBI); H: Madison Boeck 1x3, Breonna Buechel 1x4 (1RBI). 2B — CC: Ayla Nolan, Droessler. HR — CC: Kruser.
W — Gile (7IP, 2H, 3R, 6K, 4BB). L — Lizzie Gibbs (7IP, 9H, 9R, 4K, 0BB).