WILLIAMS BAY — Before Black Hawk seniors Sammy Lovelace, Jordyn Delzer and Morgyn Stauffacher could get their hands on their high school diplomas on Friday, the trio keyed a seventh-inning rally to help the Lady Warriors softball team gets their hands on a regional championship trophy.
Third-seeded Black Hawk (13-11 overall) erased a 5-3 deficit by scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning to rally past the #2-seeded Williams Bay Bulldogs, 6-5, in a WIAA Division 5 regional final softball game at WBHS on Friday, May 26.
“This win was huge for these girls and for our program. It’s been 15 years since the last one. Funny to think that the last time Black Hawk won a regional title our pitcher wasn’t old enough to walk. This gets people talking about our sport and makes the younger girls want to be a part of it,” said Black Hawk head coach Jim Baumgartner.
Lovelace led off the top of the seventh with a walk, and then freshman pitcher Hannah Butler followed with a single and fellow frosh Natalie Leuzinger followed by reaching on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Delzer tied the score with a two-run single, and Stauffacher drove in Leuzinger with a fielder’s choice to put the Warriors ahead to stay as they held on to defeat the Bulldogs (17-7) on for their fifth straight victory.
“In the top of the seventh, I told the girls it was up to them if they wanted to let the season end. You could just feel the energy keep growing on every at bat,” explained Baumgartner. “This game was a true team effort. Seven different girls had at least one hit. Butler pitched a great game, and (shortstop Hannah) Herbst made some awesome defensive plays.”
Butler (12-10) allowed five runs- three earned- on seven hits and three walks and struck out 10 batters over seven innings to earn the win. She also went 2-for-4 with a triple, a run batted in and three runs scored to aid her own cause.
Lauren Schultz went 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI, while Leuzinger and Kaitlyn Fey each added two hits for the Warriors. Lovelace reached base four times with two walks and two hit by pitches.
Black Hawk faced top-seeded and 7th-ranked Johnson Creek (20-5) in a D5 sectional semifinal game at JCHS on Tuesday, May 30. (The results of the game were not available at press time.) Tuesday’s winner moves on to the sectional final game against either #2-ranked Belmont (26-2) or #5-ranked Southwestern (21-6) at Belmont’s Bond Park on Thursday, starting at 5 p.m.
The Lady Warriors advanced to Friday’s championship game by walking off with an 8-7 win over #6-seeded Fall River in a regional semifinal game held in South Wayne on Wednesday, May 24.
Pinch hitter Savanna Burmeister walked with the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to bring in Delzer for the winning run as the Warriors survived after losing an early 7-1 lead.
“The walk-off win may not have been the most exciting way to win, but a win is a win. We just let them back into the game in the first place,” said Coach Baumgartner. “I told the girls when we were up 7-1 early that we needed to keep the fire hot and put the game away. Fall Rivers’ four runs in the fifth gave them a big momentum boost and we just seem to let them have it.”
Butler doubled and scored on a single by Leuzinger in the first inning and she drove in two runs with another double and later stole home in the second inning to put the Warriors up 6-0.
The teams traded runs in the third inning to keep the lead at six, but Pirates (8-16) struck for four runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth as they fought back to tie the score at seven all.
The Pirates put two runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh, but Butler got out of the jam with a ground out.
Delzer and Cheyenne Stewart opened the Warriors’ seventh with back-to-back singles, and then Stauffacher reached on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. With one out, Burmeister walked to allow Black Hawk to walk away with the win.
Butler was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs, and Stewart went 2-for-4 with two runs. Schultz was 2-for-2 with a run and a RBI, and Stauffacher finished 2-for-2 with a run for the Warriors.
Butler gave up seven runs on eight hits with four walks and two hit batters, and she fanned eight to earn the win. The Pirates stranded 10 runners on base, including seven in scoring position.
“I told them going into the bottom of the seventh that we needed to put it away now and that they would regret letting their season end that way,” commented Baumgartner.
WIAA D5 REGIONAL FINAL
Black Hawk….. 012 000 3 – 6 11 5
Williams Bay… 102 020 0 – 5 7 2
Leading Hitters: Hannah Butler 2x4, Natalie Leuzinger 2x4, Kaitlyn Fey 2x4, Lauren Schultz 2x4. 3B- Butler. 2B- Schultz.
WP- Butler. LP- NA.
At Williams Bay, on Friday, May 25
WIAA D5 REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
Fall River…… 001 042 0 – 7 8 1
Black Hawk… 151 000 1 – 8 12 2
Leading Hitters: Hannah Butler 2x4, Cheyenne Stewart 2x4, Morgyn Staffacher 2x2, Lauren Schultz 2x2. 2B- Butler (2).
WP- Butler. LP- NA.
At South Wayne, on Wednesday, May 23