The Rhinelander High School softball team was not able to get anything going offensively against Great Northern Conference powerhouse Mosinee on Tuesday.
The Hodags had 30 at-bats and recorded 30 outs as pitchers Sydni Gburek and Kyla Osowski threw back-to-back five-inning perfect games for the Indians in 12-0 and 11-0 wins in Mosinee.
Coach D.J. DeMeyer said the Hodags played better than they did over the weekend in a tournament at Baraboo. Mosinee, the No. 1 team in Division 2 in the WFSCA poll, is simply at another level.
"Give credit where credit is due. Mosinee is the best team we've faced all season and I do believe the two best pitchers we've seen all season, just an all-around solid team. They're worth their ranking, if not higher," he said.
"There was a lot more hustle today, just a lot more enthusiasm. They ended up 10-running us, but there was a lot more energy and I told the girls I was proud of them for that. Last weekend, I didn't feel like we had it, so they bounced back."
The Hodags were able to keep Mosinee at bay for a little while in each contest. Game 1 was a 3-0 affair until Mosinee put up nine runs in the fourth. Game 2 was 1-0 going into the fourth, but Mosinee put up five runs each in the fourth and fifth innings.
Brylee Ridderbusch took the loss in the circle for the Hodags in Game 1. Alex Oestreich took the loss in Game 2.
The Hodags open WIAA tournament play today at Pioneer Park against Ashland. The eighth-seeded Hodags defeated the ninth-seeded Oredockers 14-5 in Rhinelander back on April 26. The winner of this afternoon's game travels to Mosinee next Tuesday to face the Indians again.
"Maybe playing Ashland on Thursday could help us," DeMeyer said. "If we get a win, we get to see Mosinee again, so we'll just have to work on that."
A couple of things have changed since the late-April meeting between the two teams. For starters, the Hodags lost catcher Ella Mullikin to a season-ending knee injury. Mullikin was 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and two RBIs in the first meeting against Ashland. Secondly, DeMeyer said Ashland (2-15) has played better as of late.
"Ella had a big game, but I'm not expecting any let up," he said. "Girls have got to hit the ball and the biggest thing I saw today is that we were in the game for three, four innings each game, and we were focused. What I mean by that is we didn't have any mental errors, any breakdowns. And if we did have an error, we were able to bounce back, stay positive and move forward. My challenge to the girls is to do that for seven innings (on Thursday)."
First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC 232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361
Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121 Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce