PLATTEVILLE — On the verge of a third straight Southwest Wisconsin Conference loss, Platteville came alive.
The Hillmen plated five runs in the bottom of the fifth — thanks to some help from the Lancaster defense — to rally for a 9–6 SWC victory over the visiting Flying Arrows on a windy afternoon Friday.
Platteville was coming off a 10–3 loss at River Valley last Tuesday and a 2–0 loss first-place Dodgeville a week earlier.
Friday’s comeback could be the elixir that could get the Hillmen (6–6, 2–3 SWC) going.
Freshman Bristol Ogden walked to lead off the bottom of the first and after Anica Graney’s sacrifice bunt, senior Kaycie Wagner doubled to centerfield.
Josie Nies hit a pop up to second base that was misplayed due to a wind gust, allowing Ogden to score from third.
After a strikeout, freshman catcher Renee VanKirk drilled a two-run double to the left field gap to make it 3–0.
Lancaster (5–7, 2–3), which beat Platteville 5–4 back on April 4, answered with three runs in the top of the second, tying the game on junior Brooklyn Connelly’s RBI single.
The Arrows added two more runs an inning later on a Platteville error, a Lindsey Wolf single, another Platteville error and an RBI single by Caitlin Hahn.
Platteville got a run back in the bottom of the fourth when senior Amber Lancaster singled and came in to score on junior Allie Cooley’s RBI single to right field.
Ogden again began a big Platteville rally with a lead off walk in the fifth. back-to-back Lancaster errors plated a pair of runs and gave the Hillmen a 6–5 win.
Junior Josie Nies hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7–5.
Lancaster and VanKirk kept the inning going with back-to-back singles, then after a pop up, Cooley delivered a clutch two-out, two-run double to right field to make it 9–5.
A Platteville error led to a Lancaster run in the top of the sixth, but the Arrows never scored again.
Platteville’s fifth-inning rally helped overcome five fielding errors.
Wagner (4–5) picked up her fourth win of the season, allowing six runs, two earned, on 11 hits in seven innings. She struck out seven and walked three. She also drove in two and scored a pair of runs in the win.
Cooley finished 2-for-3 with three RBI. VanKirk also had two hits in three at-bats with a pair of RBI.
"Friday's comeback against Lancaster was a big confidence builder for the girls," said Platteville head coach Becca Lowe. "The last time we played them, we lost in the bottom of the seventh, so to come back and win from behind was a huge victory for us. As a team, we have been focusing on our job at the plate, specifically focusing on scoring runners who are in scoring position and that really paid off for us. Allie Cooley had a great day at the plate, which paid dividends to our success."
Second-place River Valley (6–5, 4–1) scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning and never trailed in last Tuesday’s 10–3 victory over Platteville.
The Hillmen outhit the Blackhawks 10–3 loss, but struck out nine times and left 10 runners on base.
Graney (3-for-4), Lancaster (3-for-4) and Wagner (2-for-4) each had multiple hits in the loss.
Kate Hanson went 2-for-5 with a grand slam and drove in five runs for River Valley. She singled to lead off the bottom of the first and later cleared the bases with a blast over the centerfield fence later in the inning to make it 8–0.
Senior Ali Hoffman went 3-for-4 and struck out five while allowing three runs in four innings to earn the win.
Platteville SWC game at Prairie du Chien was rained out last Thursday and will be made up May 9. Saturday’s non-conference games at the Prairie du Chien Jamboree were snowed out and will not be made up.
Coach Becca Lowe’s Hillmen will returned to action Tuesday at home against River Valley and will now travel to Richland Center on Thursday. They will host Cuba City in a non-conference game on Friday before hosting Prairie du Chien Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Platteville 9, Lancaster 6
(from Friday, April 26 @ Platteville)
Lancaster 032 001 0 — 6 11 3
Platteville 300 150 x — 9 8 5
Leading hitters — L: Ryanne Luckey 2x4, Mya Ploessel 2x3, Cooley 4x4; P: Amber Lancaster 2x3, Renee VanKirk 2x3, Allie Cooley 2x3. 2B — L: Luckey; P: A. Cooley, VanKirk, Kaycie Wager. 3B — L: Cooley.
W — Kaycie Wagner (4–5, 7IP, 11H, 6R, 2ER, 7K, 3BB). L — Brookelyn Connely (^IP, 8H, 9R, 1ER, 5K, 2BB).
River Valley 10, Platteville 3
(from Tuesday, April 23 @ River Valley)
Platteville 001 020 0 — 3 11 3
River Valley 810 010 x — 10 8 0
Leading hitters — P: Anica Graney 3x4, Kaycie Wagner 2x4, Amber Lancaster 3x4; RV: Kate Hanson 2x4, Ali Hoffman 3x4. 2B — P: Graney, Wagner; RV: Ragels. HR — RV: Hanson.
W — Ali Hoffman (4IP, 8H, 3ER, 5K, 2BB). L — Kaycie Wagner (3–5, 8H, 10R, 2ER, 6K, 4BB).