BOSCOBEL - The Bulldogs took on the Riverdale Chieftains on Thursday, May 5, looking to maintain the number three spot in the SWAL behind Southwestern and Cuba City. Riverdale was coming off a big win against Iowa Grant on Monday.
Boscobel took the early lead in the second inning.
Hailey Bray singled to open the inning, and then stole second base. Leah Wacker’s groundball moved Bray to third, where she was able to score on a passed ball, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Riverdale battled back in the fourth, scoring two runs on three hits including a double by Chieftain pitcher Amanda Meister, giving them a 2-1 lead.
It didn’t last long. Boscobel responded with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Pitcher Olivia Grassel led off with a double to the gap in left-center. Bray scored Grassel with an RBI single to left. Freshman Wacker unloaded a double to left-center scoring Bray. Senior Sydney Williams then looped one over the pitchers head that the short stop could not handle, leading to an errant throw allowing Wacker to score and Williams to advance to second. Williams moved up on a pitch in the dirt and scored when Alyssa Davis grounded out to shortstop. Boscobel led 5-2.
Grassel was able to work out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth aided by two nice defensive plays by her teammates. Grassel got a key strikeout with no outs and two on, followed by a popup. Wacker made an outstanding play on a base hit to left, holding the runner at third to load the bases. Grassel then got the number three hitter to loop one into short right field, but second baseman Jayden Molzof ended the threat with a fine running catch for the third out.
Boscobel put things away in the fifth, scoring four more. Allie Pickett was hit by a pitch with one out, and Grassel walked. Bray drilled her third hit of the game to score Pickett. Wacker then scored Grassel, sending Bray to third with her second hit of the game. After Wacker stole second, Molzof lined a single to right-center to drive in the final two runs of the inning.
While the Chieftains were held in check, Boscobel got a final run in the sixth when Danielle Ernst led off the inning with a slicing line drive to center for a single, then turned on the jets when it skipped by the outfielders and scored.
The final score was Boscobel 10, Riverdale 2 and the Bulldogs improved to 7-4 in the SWAL.
Heading to DeSoto
On Friday, the team traveled all the way to Stoddard to play the DeSoto Pirates who were pushing into the state rankings in Division 4.
Boscobel took a 3-0 lead in the first. Sophomore Emily Johnson walked to open the inning and stole second base. Johnson advanced to third on a groundball by Grassel who reached on an error. With two outs, Wacker drove a double to center scoring Johnson and Grassel, all the way from first base. Molzof, a junior, brought home Wacker with a base hit to left-center. DeSoto countered with a run in the second and Williams kept the Pirates scoreless in the second and third innings.
Boscobel picked up a run in the third. Grassel walked to lead off the inning. One out later, Wacker singled sending Grassel to third. Wacker then stole second. With two outs, Davis singled to score Grassel, but Wacker was gunned out at the plate on a close play on a fine relay throw by the Pirate shortstop.
DeSoto showed why they are highly regarded in Division 4, battling back to tie the game with three runs in the fourth.
Both teams changed pitchers in fifth and the game went to the seventh, tied at 4.
Sophomore Danielle Ernst led the seventh off with a beautiful bunt for a base hit. That was followed by two successive plays that left Boscobel players, coaches and fans scratching their heads. Emily Johnson laid down an outstanding bunt in an effort to sacrifice Ernst into scoring position. The throw to first was low, leaving the Pirate first baseman sprawled across the bag at first as Johnson arrived. The defender picked up the ball late as Johnson crossed the bag, but Johnson was called out anyway. Ernst alertly advanced to third on the play. This left the go ahead run at third with one out. Grassel then lifted a fly ball to right-center and Ernst tagged and came home.
However, DeSoto appealed the tag at third and Ernst was called out for leaving prior to the catch, giving DeSoto the third out of the inning and keeping the run from counting.
DeSoto then benefited from a miscommunication on a steal attempt, allowing a runner to advance to third with one out, and the Pirates then executed a squeeze play to score the game winner.
It was a fine effort by the Bulldogs against a very good team, but left them with a tough loss.
On Monday, Boscobel looked to bounce back against the Redbirds in Darlington. Unfortunately, they would have their hearts broken again.
Darlington took a 1-0 lead in the first, aided in part by a diving attempt at a line drive to center by Ernst who came up injured on the play and was forced to leave the game.
The Bulldogs countered with four runs in the top of the second, all with two outs. Williams lined a two-out single to left-center to get things started and Davis followed with a walk. Freshman Melena Tomas, batting for the injured Ernst, lined a base hit to center to score Williams and send Davis to third. Johnson drove a double to right-center, scoring Davis and sending Tomas to third. Following a walk to Pickett, Grassel drove in the fourth run of the inning with a double to left-center.
Boscobel picked up three more runs in the top of the third inning. Hailey Bray singled to lead it off. Four consecutive singles by Wacker, Molzof, Williams and Davis produced three runs, and Boscobel led 7-1.
Nature then entered into the scene. A drizzle turned to light, steady rain making play difficult and playing an unfortunate role in Darlington scoring five runs in the fourth, to make the score 7-6.
Boscobel picked up a run in the top of the fifth, Molzof beat out an infield hit, then raced all the way to third when the throw attempting to get her at first sailed into foul territory. Molzof scored on a groundout by Davis.
The Redbirds got that one back in the fifth, and in the top of the sixth, the score was 8-6 Bulldogs.
Boscobel looked to put some distance between the two teams. Johnson walked to open the inning, and one out later Grassel drew a walk. Bray launched a drive to deep center, hitting the wall under the 220 sign and Johnson and Grassel circled the bases. Bray was nipped at third on a great throw by the Darlington cut-off however.
Darlington refused to give in and came back to take the lead, scoring four times in the bottom of the sixth.
Boscobel tried to rally in the top of the seventh. Molzof lined a solid single to left and Williams got down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put the tying run at second base with one out. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they were unable to push the run across, resulting in their second straight one-run loss. The loss leaves the young Bulldog team 7-5 and currently in third place in the SWAL with two games to play. Despite the two losses, positive signs remain for the young team.
The Bulldogs come back home looking to respond on Thursday, taking on SWAL foe Fennimore. On Friday afternoon, it’s a non-conference doubleheader. Highland will be the opponent in game one, followed by Wauzeka in game two. The first game starts at 4:30.