Going into its May 1 game against Greenfield, the Eisenhower softball team had not lost, surrendered as much as a single run in any game nor committed an error this season.
That all came crashing down around the Lions in a stunning 5-3 loss in which they allowed five runs in the final two innings, all after the Hustlin' Hawks had two outs and no one on base.
"Sometimes that third out is the toughest one to get," coach Jeff Setz said.
The Lions (5-1 in the Woodland Conference and 7-1 overall going into this week) appeared to be well on their way to another shutout victory after taking a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning.
They had scored once in the second inning when Liz Wiese was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
They added two in the fifth as singles from Megan Duerlinger, Lauren Beres and Kelly Brubakken loaded the bases and fielder's choices from Haley Barbeau and Tori Kilps drove in runs.
Greenfield rallied for two in the sixth, but the Lions were still one out away from victory in the seventh, when two errors and a single from Sarah Fisher loaded the bases. Shannon Butts singled sharply off pitcher Beres' glove to score one run.
Beres then struck out the dangerous Stacey Butts, but the ball got past catcher Megan Duerlinger as the lead run came home. Duerlinger's throw to first was wide, allowing another run to score.
"It was very uncharacteristic of our defense," Setz said. "We've been solid all year. Today was the first day we had errors, and they all came at a critical time when the game was on the line."
Kilps had two hits for the Lions. Shannon Butts collected three hits for Greenfield (5-1 in the Woodland).
"Hopefully, the kids will learn from this, move on and make the plays the next time," Setz said.
New Berlin West
The Vikings played a solid all-around game in downing Waukesha West, 9-6, in the first game of a four-team tournament May 2 at Waukesha.
"This was our best game of the year, easily," coach Corey Scheel said. "We had a four-run first inning, we made a big double play when (second baseman) Martha Radtke snared a ball and touched second and we ran the bases well."
Ashley Nealon went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs batted in for West. Emelia Roso had two hits and one RBI, and Eddye Tyler drove in one run.
The Vikings struggled, though, in the other tournament game, losing 11-1 to Franklin.
Martha Radtke allowed just one hit in a 12-1 romp over St. Francis on May 1. West managed only six hits - two by Hailey Kunz - but took advantage of 10 passed balls.
The Vikings fell to South Milwaukee, 3-1, April 29, posting just singles by Roso and Moira Collins. "That one bothered me," Scheel said. "We should have won that game, but we didn't hit well again."
West opened the week with a 7-2 victory over Brown Deer on April 28 behind three hits by Liz Radtke and two RBIs each by Kunz and Tyler. Martha Radtke picked up the pitching victory.
The Vikings went into this week at 4-3 in the Woodland Conference and 5-6 overall.
John Rech, Staff Writer
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