Prairie du Chien Softball ends busy first week of games by remaining undefeated

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Shortstop Reagan Hannah gets ready to field a ground ball while Ella Lange (left) watches. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Irelynd Cejka connects on a pitch. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Pitcher Claire Kennedy fields her position by catching a comebacker to the mound. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

The Hawks' Lainee Mitchell holds her swing from going through the strike zone on a pitch outside of the strike zone. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Senior Scout Hall delivers a base hit for the Hawks in their win over Manitowoc Roncalli at the Woodside Sports Complex in Mauston Friday afternoon. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

PdC's Camryn Knapp stands on second base after a base hit. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Ella Lange beats the Roncalli throw to first base. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By Derick Kelly

 

The Prairie du Chien softball team started their conference season on Tuesday, April 9 with a big win over Platteville 11-5 in the Hawks home opener. 

After giving up two runs in the top of the first, the Hawks answered back with one run in the bottom of the inning and five more in the second. The Hawks continued their scoring attack when they added two in the third and three more in the fourth. That was more than enough to hold off the Hillmen, who came back with one run in the third and two in the seventh. 

Leading batters for the Hawks were Scout Hall (1-for-2 with a double, walk, and two HBP and two RBIs), Irelynd Cejka (3-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs), Claire Kennedy (2-for-5 with three RBIs), Rita Achenbach (2-for-4 with a double and stolen base and two RBIs), Bailey Halvorson (2-for-4 with a double), Ella Lange (1-for-1 with two walks and a HBP and one RBI) and  Camryn Knapp (1-for-3 with a double and a walk and one RBI) 

Prairie scored 11 runs on 12 hits and one error.

Hall took the win on the mound. She gave up five runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out four. 

Two nights later, the Hawks followed up their win over Platteville with a come-from-behind win over Lancaster 10-8. 

PdC started scoring right away in the top of the first. After a line drive from Hall started the inning, a subsequent double from Cejka scored Hall to make the score 1-0. Later in the inning, Emma Abram hit a single to score Cejka and give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.

Lancaster answered back in the bottom of the third during a rain storm which made pitching a struggle. The Flying Arrows capitalized on the Hawks pitching struggle and scored seven runs. Prairie made a pitching change to switch Kennedy and Hall on the mound. Kennedy held Lancaster to only one run over the next four innings.

Prairie du Chien would not give up as they scored two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, and five huge runs in the seventh to go up 10-8 for a great comeback win.

Every member of the starting nine had a hit except Lange, who had three walks.

Leading the Hawks offense was Hall (1-for-3 with two walks), Cejka (2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs), Reagan Hannah (1-for-4 with one RBI and one walk), Abram (2-for-4 with four RBIs and one walk), Achenbach (1-for-5 with a double and one RBI), Halvorson (1-for-3 with one RBI) and Lange (three walks and a stolen base).

The Hawks wrapped up their busy week by traveling to the Woodside Sports Complex outside of Mauston for a three-game tournament on Friday and Saturday.

First up on Friday afternoon the Hawks defeated Manitowoc Roncalli 15-0 in three innings. For their second game of the day, Prairie du Chien took on a familiar member of their sectional (a team the Hawks defeated in last year’s regional tournament) in Adams-Friendship. The Hawks earned a 11-3 win over the Green Devils to conclude their Friday.

Prairie wrapped up their tournament on Saturday afternoon with  the Brillion Lions and the Hawks came away with a wild 9-8 win despite trailing 7-1 at one point before rallying for eight runs in the sixth inning to take a 9-8 lead. The Hawks sealed the win in the top of the seventh inning by throwing out the tying run at home plate to end the game. 

The Hawks improved to 6-0 with the win, their best start to a season since starting 6-0 in 1990. It is also the second best start in program history (8-0 in 1989).

Following Monday’s home game against Belmont, the Hawks return to conference play on Thursday at Richland Center. Prairie du Chien will wrap up the week when they return home to host a tournament at Bluff View on Saturday. Games are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

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