After not playing in 2020, the Poynette and Lodi prep softball teams got the 2021 season underway on April 27. It was the coaching debuts for the Pumas’ Matt Ramberg and the Blue Devils’ Trent Schneider.
It turned into lopsided game, as host Poynette rolled to a 21-0 victory in five innings.
“That is a tough way to start out the season against such a great team,” Schneider said. “I guess we have nowhere to go but up. It is a start, but not the one we wanted. We will build from here and get better.”
The Pumas, who won back-to-back WIAA Division 3 state titles in 2018 and 2019, scored 15 runs over the first two innings.
“We came out in the first inning and the girls just hit the ball and never let up,” Ramberg said. “We have spent a lot of time on hitting because we have a lot of new girls and they did well.”
Poynette pushed five runs across home plate in the opening frame. Peyton Gest had a two-run triple in the stanza, while Holly Lowenberg added a run-scoring single.
The Pumas took complete control of the game with a 10-run explosion in the bottom of the second.
Lowenberg highlighted the second inning with a two-run home run and two-run single. Alli Ripp and Ashia Meister also had two-run singles in the frame, while Abby Klink added an RBI double.
Poynette closed out its scoring with six runs in the fourth frame. Lowenberg capped off her great night with a two-run single. Peyton Kingsland came through with an RBI double, while Meister contributed a run-scoring single.
Lowenberg and Meister both finished the game 4-for-4 at the plate. Lowenberg finished with seven RBIs and two runs scored, while Meister added three RBIs and four runs.
Klink had three hits for the Pumas, while Brooke Steinhorst and Kingsland had two each.
Lowenberg also picked up the pitching win. She had eight strikeouts and a walk.
“I would have let Holly go the whole game, but she had a small blister,” Ramberg said. “We have three great pitchers, so she didn’t have to pitch the whole game.”
Mackenzie Christofferson had the only hit for the Blue Devils.
Emma Krumpen, who had a strikeout and a walk, took the pitching loss.
“Emma Krumpen threw well, but we didn’t give her much defensive help,” Schneider said.
The Pumas and Blue Devils will both be back in action on May 6. The Pumas travel to Lake Mills, while the Blue Devils will host Lakeside Lutheran. Both games will start at 5 p.m.
“We are going to take this season one game at a time,” Ramberg said. “Our schedule is going to get tougher as we go.”
Lodi will host Deerfield at 5 p.m. on Friday and play at Belleville at 1p.m. on Saturday.
Poynette will take part in the Portage Invite at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Poynette 10 Lakeside Lutheran 0
The Pumas improved to 2-0 in the Capitol North Conference with a victory over Lakeside Lutheran on April 29.
Poynette came away with six runs in the top of the first inning. Laken Wagner and Maysa Clemens ignited the outburst with two-run singles.
The Pumas put the game away three runs in the fourth, thanks to a two-run home run Gest and solo blast by Klink.
Clemens, Steinhorst, Gest and Wagner each finished with two hits.
Lowenbeg pitched a one-hit shutout. She struck out seven of the first nine batters she faced on her way to 10 strikeouts for the game.
Poynette 10 DeForest 4
Poynette ran its remarkable win streak to 56 games with a win in its first road game of the season.
The Pumas came out strong with three runs in the top of the first inning. Wagner had a two-run double, while Gest hit a run-scoring single.
After DeForest scored a run in the bottom of the first, Poynette pushed four more runs across in the top of the second. The first two runs scored on an error. Then after Klink scored on a passed ball, Gest belted a run-scoring double.
Leading 7-4, the Pumas tacked on two insurance runs in the fourth and one in the sixth. Lowenberg had a two-run home run in the fourth, while Steinhorst drove in a run with a double in the sixth.
Gest and Steinhorst both had two hits in the win.
Steinhorst pitched all seven innings for Poynette. She had eight strikeouts, while not walking a batter.
Columbus 13 Lodi 3
The Blue Devils scored their first runs of the season against host Columbus on April 29, but were not able to earn the win.
Lodi took its first lead of the season after Sam Edge scored on an error in the top of the first inning.
The Cardinals answered with five runs in the bottom of the first and led the rest of the game.
Lodi picked up a run in the top of the third on an RBI triple by Lauren Burrows.
The Blue Devils final run came in the top of the sixth inning on an error.
Columbus, which scored a run in the fifth, ended the game early with seven runs in the sixth.
Burrows and Ava Glaser had the only hits for Lodi.
Krumpen handled the pitching duties for the Blue Devils and had a strikeout and 11 walks.
Cambridge 13 Lodi 3
The Blue Devils suffered another 13-3 on the road last Friday.
Cambridge set the tone with an eight-run outburst in the first inning.
Lodi cut into the deficit with runs in the second and third frames. Glaser had a run-scoring single in the second, while R Schneider plated a run with a ground ball in the third.
The Blue Jays went up 12-2 with four runs in the bottom of the third.
Both teams scored a run in the fifth. Christofferson stole home for Lodi’s run.
Krumpen had two of the Blue Devils’ six hits in the game.
Cadence Wipperfurth was in the pitcher’s circle for Lodi and had four strikeouts and nine walks.