The Osceola Chieftain softball team had three home games last week. Osceola was hoping for a big week to close out the Middle Border conference schedule and prepare for the upcoming WIAA Regionals. They did not get what they had hoped for. The Chieftains dropped their first game of the week to a powerful Ellsworth Panthers squad. The New Richmond Tigers were the next team to visit Osceola and they too knocked off the Chieftains. The Somerset Spartans completed the painful week for Osceola as they also came away with a win.
“We have been playing hard but coming up a little short,” Osceola coach James Gillespie said, “either with a tough inning or struggling to produce offensively. We are hoping to turn things around here soon.”
With the three losses Osceola drops to a 3-9 record in MBC play with two conference games left early this week. Ellsworth leads the MBC with a 13-0 record and is 17-1 overall. The Chieftains begin Regional play on May 16.
Ellsworth demonstrated to Osceola how they have run up such an impressive record with a 10-0 whitewash of the Chieftains. Junior pitcher Avery O’Neil dominated the Osceola hitters by striking out 13. O’Neil walked a pair of Chieftains in her complete game win. Osceola played well against Ellsworth for most of the game trailing just 2-0 after four innings but the Panthers put up seven runs in the fifth to salt the game away.
It was more of the same against New Richmond. Once again it was an even contest for the most part. The Tigers scored twice in the first inning but Osceola matched their score with a deuce in the second. New Richmond took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth but the Chieftains matched it in the bottom of the inning. With the score 3-3 going into the seventh the Tigers came up with a huge seven run inning to take control.
Ashlyn Getschel, Skylar Samples and Alexis See led the Chieftain offense with two hits each.
Osceola finished their disappointing week with a 9-6 loss to Somerset. Again one big inning led to the Chieftain downfall as the Spartans scored five times in the third inning. After six innings Somerset led just 7-6 but added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh before holding Osceola scoreless in the bottom of the inning to hold on for the win.
Courtney Miller had a nice offensive game for Osceola going 3-for-4, scoring once and driving in a run. Jam Dannenmueller was also explosive at the plate going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. One of Dannenmueller’s hits was a booming homerun.
“When I hit my homerun against Somerset I had a 2-2 count,” Dannenmueller recalled. “Just before the pitcher had pitched the ball I had started to second guess my capability of batting because of my nerves. Once I knew it had gone over the fence my confidence slowly started coming back. I’m super happy that I got to share my first homerun of the season with my teammates especially the four seniors because it’s the first time I have ever hit a homerun being on a team with them.”
Osceola needs to put their week behind them and avoid giving up the big inning as they enter tournament play. They have shown that they can compete well against quality teams. They just have to do it for a full seven innings.
“I think our entire team is ready to play in the tournament,” Dannenmueller said. “We all have the capability to be amazing softball players and if we all strive for that potential at the same time we can do great things together. I think we need to focus less on the mistakes we are making and more on the good things we do because we only have a split second to have any emotion for our mistakes.”