The DeForest prep softball team had its season come down to a split second.
The ninth-ranked Norskies battled back to put themselves into position to tie their WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal game with second-ranked Verona in the top of the seventh inning. They scored two runs to cut the deficit to a run and had the tying run on third base.
The Lady Norskies’ Kylee Jansen laid a bunt down the third-base line in an attempt to score Jordan Marty from third base. In a bang-bang play at first base, Jansen was called out and Verona escaped with a 3-2 victory on May 28.
“It was a hard-fought game between two very good teams,” DeForest coach Jerry Schwenn said. “I love the way we fought back in the seventh inning. That type of competitiveness is what I will remember most about this group.”
The Lady Norskies had a number of chances in the game, but left nine runners on base.
“We left too many runners on base and just couldn’t get that timely hit when we needed it,” Schwenn said.
The Norskies finished the season with an impressive 23-5 record.
“We entered the season with a number of unknowns, but we had girls really embrace opportunities,” Schwenn said. “The 2019 season will go down as one of the most successful years in program history. This is an amazing and talented group of girls who love the game. We will miss our seniors and all their contributions to the program over the past four years.”
Verona lost 10-3 to defending state champion Sun Prairie in the sectional final on May 30.
The Wildcats grabbed momentum right away in the sectional semifinal. They plated their first run in the bottom of the first inning on a single by Alyssa Bostley.
Verona scored two more runs in the bottom of the third to go up 3-0. Bostley came through with another run-scoring single, while Kasie Keyes followed with an RBI double.
The Norskies had the bases loaded in the first inning, but were unable to push a run across. They advanced runners to second base in the second, fourth and sixth frames.
DeForest started the seventh-inning comeback attempt with a one-out single by Taylor Tschumper. Then with two outs, Cammi Riemer kept the inning alive with a single.
Marty followed with a double to right field to score both Tschumper and Riemer. Marty moved to third base on the throw to the plate to set up the final scoring attempt.
DeForest out-hit the Wildcats 9-5. Jansen led the way with three hits, while Tschumper chipped in two.
Bostley and Keyes both had two hits for Verona.
The Norskies’ Taylor Shaw and the Wildcats’ Meghan Anderson both went the distance in the pitcher’s circle.
“The pitching was strong on both sides,” Schwenn said.
Shaw finished the game with four strikeouts and four walks, while Anderson registered 10 strikeouts and two walks.
The game marked the end for DeForest’s senior class of Riemer, Kaylee Ramirez, Julia Winters, Shaw, Emily Hron, Avery Melter, Lexi Blaski and Aleah Grundahl.
The WIAA state tournament begins today and runs through Saturday at Goodman Diamond in Madison. The Division 1 field includes Kenosha Bradford/Reuther (23-6), Chippewa Falls (20-7), Oshkosh North (28-0), Nicolet (20-7), Sun Prairie (25-3), Waukesha North (15-7), Pulaski (23-5) and Wilmot Union (18-9).
The Division 1 state championship game is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.