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New Berlin Eisenhower’s Kelsey Thompson (left) and Kristin Hesselbach were first-team all-conference selections this season. The Lions also had a second-team and five honorable mention selections.

New Berlin Eisenhower’s Kelsey Thompson (left) and Kristin Hesselbach were first-team all-conference selections this season. The Lions also had a second-team and five honorable mention selections. Photo By Dave Haberkorn

June 23, 2014

WEST SOFTBALL

Coach Greg Klotz saw his New Berlin West team put together a 15-9 overall record and a second-place mark of 11-5 in the Woodland West.

"It was a season of missed opportunities," Klotz said. "We would win big games and lose in late innings to teams we should have beaten. We were in control of the conference championship, but did not come out to play Greendale and then lost to Pius after beating Eisenhower. A 3-1 loss to Greenfield early on (allowing all unearned runs) was another game that proved costly as we finished one game out of the championship."

Klotz called it a season of ups and downs, as the Vikings beat Eisenhower twice in conference, but played sloppy when it counted in the regional and lost 8-6.

"We had a couple of dominating stretches but also lost big," he said. "We just were not consistent and we did not learn quick enough from our mistakes and to come back strong after down games. We struggled holding the lead late in three of our losses. However, there was a lot of growth and there are things to be excited about."

West had several players earn all-conference honors on some level and also scholar-athlete honors.

The Vikings will lose seven seniors to graduation.

Erin Arnas was a two-year starter in the outfield, all-conference honorable mention, Woodland scholar-athlete and team captain. Hannah Buth was a three-year starter in the outfield and third base and an all-conference honorable mention infielder this year.

Hannah Just was a three-year starter at catcher, second-team all-conference and a scholar-athlete. Mallory Klotz was a four-year starter at shortstop, a first-team all-conference and first-team all Woodland infielder, a scholar-athlete and a three-time captain.

Cara Mauermann was a two-year varsity player. Kailey Nealon was a three-year starter in the outfield and second base, second-team all-conference in the infield. Jenna Szalewski was a two-year varsity player, a scholar-athlete, an all-Woodland scholar-athlete with the team GPA on the Vikings.

Juniors include Karissa Harenda, a first-team all-conference pitcher and a scholar athlete; Nicole Philipps, a Woodland scholar-athlete; and Carley Eifert.

Four sophomores were scholar-athletes — Riley Farrell, Hannah Giammarco, Leah Marrari and Abbey Stolenberg — as were two freshmen — Monica Laurerman and Maddie Minik.

The Vikings had a 16-girl roster, the biggest team they ever put together, and this created limited playing time and starts for many players.

"But they gained valuable experience for the future," Klotz said. "We had a few seniors that it was extremely important for our younger players to watch practice and play on a day-to-day basis. Our underclassman and the program will benefit for years to come from the contributions of some of this year's seniors and what they taught our younger players."

EISENHOWER SOFTBALL

When it came to team goals, New Berlin Eisenhower had four big ones, according to veteran coach Jeff Setz.

"Goal No. 1, we wanted our players to improve their individual skills in the field, at the plate and on the bases," he said, "while having some fun and enjoying being part of a team. I believe most players achieved this goal."

The Lions were the defending conference champions and wanted to keep their title, thus Goal No. 3.

"We were able to do this for the eighth consecutive year even though the overall competitiveness of the Woodland Conference was better this past year," he said.

The second toughest goal was Goal No. 3.

"We wanted to qualify for the state tournament in Madison," Setz said. "Our team was able to reach this goal because of some clutch hitting and some outstanding play on defense."

Ike beat New Berlin West (8-6) and Whitnall (7-5) to win the regional and St. Francis (10-3) and Waupun (4-3) to win the sectional.

They rallied to tie defending champion New London in the state semis on Steffi Lombardo's 2-run homer in the seventh, but lost it on three straight singles in the bottom of the seventh.

Finally, the one goal the Lions fell short on was the toughest — winning the state title like they did in 2008.

"We wanted to win the State Title for Division 2, but we came up short on this goal," he said.

Eisenhower finished 23-8, including a 13-4 record in the Woodland West Division.

Leading the way were juniors Lombardo and Katie Schlegel, who were recently named first-team All-State, All-District, All- Conference and All-Woodland.

Lombardo was Woodland West Division Player of the Year, as she batted .547 with a .610 on base percentage and a 1.053 slugging mark with 45 runs scored, 10 homers and 49 RBIs.

Schlegel hit .465 with 47 runs, 13 homers and 47 RBIs, with a .546 on base percentage and a .990 slugging mark. She led the state in homers and had a school record seven straight games with a homer.

The Lion set a team record with 32 home runs this year, as seven different players hit home runs which is also a team record.

Ali Nowak and Riley Rossbach were named first-team All- Conference and Anthie Katris was second-team.

Nowak hit .517 .573 on base percentage with 34 runs scored and 27 RBIs. She keyed the Lions down the stretch when Setz moved her from the cleanup spot to the leadoff spot.

Rossbach batted .314 with 27 RBIs and Katris had 27 runs scored and a .352 on base percentage.

Schlegel was 17-2 with a 3.26 ERA with a 128 strikeouts in 116 innings and Lombardo was 6-6 with a 3.53 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 75.1 innings.

Setz will be losing only three seniors — Katris, Cassie Majinski and Courtney Wenzel, so the Lions will be looking at their ninth straight title to go after again in 2015.

WEST SOCCER

Coach Erin Frantz and the New Berlin Eisenhower girls soccer team had a fine season, falling one game short of making it to the state tournament.

The Lions finished with an overall record of 15-8-1 and they finished tied for second in the Woodland Conference with a 9-2 record and 18 points with Wauwatosa West. Pewaukee finished 11-0 with 22 points to win the league.

They beat South Milwaukee (10-0) and Greendale (6-0) to win the regional and beat Pius XI (5-0) in the sectional semifinal before losing to Waukesha West (5-1) in the sectional championship match.

Eight Lions earned all-conference honors, topped off by first-team selections Kristin Hesselbach and Kelsey Thompson.

Andrea Zubke was second team and Emma Grellinger, Claire Popp, Stef Panzenhagen, Cayley Farrell and Christina Copolous earned honorable mention honors.

Frantz will lose six seniors — Hesselbach (a 4-year letter winner), Panzenhagen (3 years), Farrell (3 years), Copolous (2 years), Taylor Rickard (3 years) and Holly Plazak (1 year).

"It was a great group of girls who came together to win games and go far in the post season," Frantz said.

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