Top-seeded Mosinee made short work of the RHS softball team in the second round of the WIAA tournament. The Indians had big innings in every frame Tuesday to defeat the Hodags 15-0 in a game called in three innings due to the mercy rule.
Rhinelander, which was dealt 11-0 and 12-0 losses to Mosinee last Tuesday to end the regular season, simply could not slow down Mosinee's offense. The Indians collected 10 hits on only 17 official at-bats - scoring four runs in the first, eight in the second and three in the third.
"I mean they're very good team," Hodag coach D.J. DeMeyer said. "They got good pitching and I think they had a no-no again against us but, you know, it was brutally cold and the wind chill probably brought it down to in the 30s, I would say, with the wind chill. It was like a 40 mph wind. We had some misplayed balls - part of that's because of the wind - and they hit some balls hard."
Mosinee no-hit Rhinelander for the third consecutive outing but, unlike last Tuesday's doubleheader, this one was not a perfect game. Alex Oestreich drew a second-inning walk off Mosinee starter Sydni Gburek, but was thrown out trying to steal second.
Oestreich started in the circle and took the loss for Rhinelander, going an inning plus. The middle of the Mosinee order connected for three straight extra base hits against Oestreich in the first, capped off by a two-run home run by Kyla Osowski to make it 4-0. Oestreich faced five batters in the second, giving up four hits and a dropped fly ball before giving way to Sophia McGinnis, who walked three of the four batters she faced before being replaced by Brylee Ridderbusch who closed out the contest for Rhinelander.
"They're good quality team. Let's give credit where credit is due," DeMeyer said. "We tried and it just didn't work out. So will regroup for next year and look forward to that."
Rhinelander finished the season with a 2-17 record. Both wins came against Ashland, including an 8-3 victory over the Oredockers last Thursday in the tournament opener.
DeMeyer took a moment afterward to recognize the team's lone senior, Mikayla Evenstad.
"Obviously, we lose a senior who's been vital to our program for the last four years - good kid, selfless, will do anything ask her to do," he said. "I was happy to see or make it back on her knee injury and play."
The Hodags were woefully low on numbers this season, finishing the year with only 10 players on the playoff roster. DeMeyer said a decent incoming freshman class should help the Hodags' situation moving forward.
"I think we got probably seven freshmen probably going out, so that'll help our numbers game," he said. "You know, hopefully we'll get some of the girls that will work out in the offseason, and get some of the freshmen to work in the offseason, and have some numbers were we can put a good, quality team in there and be able to move some girls around and have some have some flexibility."
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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