POTOSI – For the fifth year in a row, the Potosi Chieftains and Southwestern Wildcats opened the spring softball season against one another, with the latest meeting being played last Tuesday evening at Potosi High School.
Under four-year head coach Bud Johnson, the Chieftains pounded out 12 hits to Southwestern’s four, as Potosi picked up a 12-2 season-opening victory after five innings against the visiting Wildcats.
For head coach John Costello, who is also in his fourth season at Southwestern, only four starters from last year’s team return in 2018, while Johnson has six starters back for the Chieftains.
A key returning starter back for Potosi is junior pitcher Jadyn Noonan, who picked up the win Tuesday night in the pitching circle.
In five innings of work, Noonan gave up one earned run off four hits, while striking out five batters and walking just one.
The Wildcats managed just two runs in the top half of the fifth inning, where junior outfielder Maddie Myers hit a double, followed by an RBI single from senior catcher Allison Kruser.
Kruser led Southwestern at the plate with a 2-for-3 hitting performance with one RBI, while Hailey Hinnman and Mya Runde had the team’s only other hits.
Runde took the loss in the circle for Southwestern, allowing 11 runs, eight earned, off nine hits in 4.1 innings of work. She also struck out five Potosi batters and walked four.
The Chieftains first got on the scoreboard with a five-run rally in the bottom half of the second inning, where senior Kalynn Vosberg had a lead-off single, followed by an RBI single from Noonan and a three-run triple by senior Abby Kaiser.
The Chieftains added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth with three more runs, and put things away with four runs in the bottom of the fifth.
In the final inning, Kaiser, Sophie Langkamp and Kalynn Vosberg each had RBI singles, as the Chieftains scored five runs on four hits, two walks and one hit batter.
Kaiser led the Chieftains at the plate, going 2-for-4 with four RBIs, while Noonan was 2-for-3 with one RBI and Vosberg 2-for-4 with one RBI.
“I think one of the things that I saw was our positive attitude with the idea of being very competitive,” said coach Bud Johnson of his team’s season-opening win. “Technique-wise, I thought our kids have really improved in the way we hit the ball, as far as line drives. We only had two routine fly balls, which is one of the things we’ve tried to really improve on. We’d much rather have that line drive than fly balls.”
“We had one error, and so our defense was strong. I thought Jadyn pitched well with one walk and one hit batsmen in her first game,” Johnson added. “I was really pleased with our overall performance, but we do have some things to improve on.”
On the following Thursday night, the Chieftains suffered a 5-4 loss to host Seneca, as they committed six errors and had five hits to the Indians’ seven.
After giving up two runs in the bottom of the first inning, coach Johnson’s squad responded with a three-run rally in the top of the second.
Potosi’s one-run lead was short lived though, as Seneca had two runners cross home plate in the bottom half of the second to retake a 4-3 lead.
After four scoreless innings for each team, the Chieftains tied the game at 4-4 with one run in the top of the seventh, but the Indians responded by scoring the winning run in the bottom half of the seventh.
Potosi senior Hannah Udelhoven led the Chieftains with three hits in four at bats, including a two-run triple.
Jadyn Noonan took the loss in the pitching circle, giving up five runs, three earned, off seven hits. She also struck out eight batters and walked just one.
If the weather holds up, the Chieftains will host Prairie du Chien this Thursday night, then will participate in the Cuba City Tournament on Saturday.
Potosi 12, Southwestern 2
(from Tuesday, March 27)
Southwestern 000 02 - 2 4 2
Potosi 050 34 - 12 12 1
Leading hitters - SW: Allison Kruser 2x3; P: Jadyn Noonan 2x3, Abby Kaiser 2x4, Kalynn Vosberg 2x4. 2B - SW: Myers 1. 3B - P: Kaiser 1. W - Jadyn Noonan (5IN,4H,1ER,5K,1BB,1HB). L - Mya Runde (4IN,9H,8ER,5K,4BB). Other pitchers - SW: Staci Reynolds (0IN,3H,1ER,0K,1BB).
Seneca 5, Potosi 4
(from Thursday, March 29)
Potosi 030 000 1 - 4 5 6
Seneca 220 000 1 - 5 7 4
Leading hitters - P: Hannah Udelhoven 3x4; S: Missy Clark 2x4. 3B - P: Hannah Udelhoven 1; S: Sarah Wallin 1. W - Heather Wall (7IN,5H,3ER,7K,2BB). L - Jadyn Noonan (7IN,7H,3ER,8K,1BB).