MCFARLAND — One of the more successful seasons in Platteville softball history ended with a 4–0 loss to top-seeded McFarland in a WIAA Division 2 regional final Friday afternoon.
After back-to-back regional wins over Richland Center and Portage on Tuesday and Wednesday, Platteville’s high-powered offense ran into a buzz saw in the form of McFarland’s Lexy Kemnitzer.
Kemnitzer struck out nine Hillmen an allowed just one hit in the complete game shutout. She also aided her own cause with a pair of hits, including an RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 3–0.
McFarland took a 1–0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when KJ LeFave scored on Jenna Quelle’s RBI single to center.
The Spartans made it 2–0 in the fourth when Kemnitzer doubled and courtesy runner Megan Jansen scored on Sophie Quelle’s RBI ground out. After Kemnitzer’s sixth-inning triple, Jansen again scored as a courtesy runner on Mia Hoveland’s RBI ground out.
Senior Claire Tashner hit a one-out double in the top of the sixth for Platteville’s only hit and junior Abby Wein followed with a walk, but senior Sierra Brecke grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the Hillmen threat.
The Spartans (24–3) advance to face second-seeded River Valley (17–4) in Tuesday’s D2 sectional semifinals.
Meanwhile, Platteville finished the year 23–4 overall under first-year head coach Becca Lowe, after going 7–3 in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference to finish second behind River Valley.
The Hillmen opened the playoffs with a 5–1 regional quarterfinal victory over SWC rival Richland Center. Junior KD Hoyer (15–5) struck out nine and only allowed one unearned run on five hits in the complete game win.
The Hillmen took an early 2–0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a Richland Center throwing error.
Tashner added an RBI double in the second and later scored to make it 4–0 on an RBI single by Wein. Senior shortstop Lexi Budden added an RBI double in the third inning.
Wednesday afternoon, Platteville blew an early 6–0 lead against fifth-seeded Portage, but rallied to win in dramatic fashion when freshman Kaycie Wagner scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Platteville scored five runs in the first and Tashner scored on a passed ball in the second to make it 6–0.
Portage (11–14) scored three unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning to cut the Platteville lead in half. Platteville committed two more errors in the top of the sixth, allowing the Warriors to tie the game.
Tashner came up clutch with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, but once again Portage tied the game in the seventh, this time on a sacrifice fly to center.
Wagner drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh, advanced to second on a wild pitch. She moved to third on a bunt single by Hoyer, before scoring the winning run.
WIAA Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal
Richland Center 1
(from Tuesday, May 24 @ Platteville)
Richland Center 010 000 0 — 1 5 1
Platteville 221 000 x — 5 9 1
Leading hitters — P: Claire Tashner 2x3, Kaycie Wagner 3x3, Erin Bowden 2x3. 2B — P: Lexi Budden, Tashner.
W — KD Hoyer (14–4, 7IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 9K, 2BB). L — #11 (6IP, 9H, 5R, 3ER, 6K, 1BB).
WIAA Division 2 Regional Semifinal
Platteville 8, Portage 7
(from Wednesday, May 25 @ Platteville)
Portage 000 303 1 — 7 5 1
Platteville 510 001 1 — 8 9 3
Leading hitters — P: Claire Tashner 3x4, KD Hoyer 2x3. 2B — P: Tashner. 3B — P: Lexi Budden.
W — KD Hoyer (15–4, 7IP, 5H, 7R, 0ER, 10K, 4BB). L — #33 (6.1IP, 9H, 8R, 5ER, 8K, 4BB).
WIAA Division 2 Regional Final
McFarland 4, Platteville 0
(from Friday, May 27 @ McFarland)
Platteville 000 000 0 — 0 1 1
McFarland 001 102 x — 4 4 1
Leading hitters — M: Lexy Kemnitzer 2x3, Jenna Quelle 2x3. 2B — P: Claire Tashner.
W — Kemnitzer (7IP, 1H, 0H, 9K, 1BB). L — KD Hoyer (15–5, 6IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 3K, 1BB).