For New Berlin West, it was the big picture that counted.
Defending Champion Baldwin-Woodville crushed the Vikings, 9-0, in the semi-finals of the WIAA State Softball Tournament Thursday night at Goodman Diamond on the Madison campus.
Abby Klopp threw a one-hitter, walked one and struck out five, as the Vikings had one baserunner going into the seventh - Kelly Duggan's walk in the fourth. The Vikings trailed, 2-0, before the Blackhawks scored six runs in the fifth to put the game away.
"We came, we competed and we gave it our best shot, but it just wasn't our night," said West coach Corey Scheel, coaching his final game before moving on to the athletic director's post at Racine St. Catherine's on July1.
"We didn't see anything new tonight (from Klopp)," he said. "We've faced Katie Lang (Eisenhower's ace).
"This is it. A bittersweet moment. I didn't want it to end. I knew my next loss would be my last one, maybe the hardest thing for me because coaching has been my passion, my first love ever since I stepped foot at New Berlin West. It's given me so many opportunities, to meet so many great kids, so many great coaches, I'm definitely going to miss that."
Scheel and the Vikings did not want to ne no-hit and they showed some determination in their final at bat.
With one out, Kailey Nealon reached on the second baseman's error. Then Alison Kuhne ripped a ball up the middle that shortstop Heidi Hinz dived for and stopped. She couldn't get either Nealon at second nor Kuhne and the no-hitter was gone.
"I didnt want to be no-hit," Scheel said. "I've never been no hit in all my seven yers of being here. When Al hit that one I was just staring at the board. I didn't want to get screwed on that."
Scheel then pointed out that Klopp was a big strikeout pitcher (140 in 107 innings), yet she just struck out five Vikings.
"I didn't feel like we were no hit. We hit the ball. She's a big strikeout pitcher and I dont think they racked up that many against us. I'm proud that we attacked the ball like I wanted to do."
Kuhne the reflected on the season.
"It's sad way to end on a loss," the senior said. "But it was a strong battle, a good run, a good way to end season in Madison.
Scheel then closed out the interview and turned to go talk to his team for the final time.
"That's going to be the hardest thing for me to do - talk to them for the last time," he said. "I'm so proud of us, proud of the program from where it came the last seven years ago when I first came here.
"To get to state, to be here. "It's been a hell of a ride. To be leaving and make state, it means a lot to me."
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