Hanson has big night for Elcho as softball team scores pair of wins|
Elcho softball seniors Kelly Hanson, Amanda Granada and DeAnna Ruppert marked their final time on their home diamond Tuesday with a win —actually, a pair of them. Playing host to Phelps in an afternoon doubleheader, the Lady Hornets won 9-1, 8-6.
Its senior veterans played big in the effort as all three added hits to their career collection — Ruppert with home run, Granada with a single and Hanson with two doubles and a single along with a solid performance at the mound. Going the stretch in the five-inning opener and stepping in as relief for two frames in the followup, Hanson gave up only two hits, walked four and struck out four in her performance.
“Kelly did an awesome job on the mound,” coach Jamie Krause said
In fact, it was a strong effort all around for the entire Hornet crew.
“The girls worked well as a team,” Krause said. “Our defense is picking up, our pitching is much better and I hope our hitting can continue into tonight.”
Ranked a No. 6 seed for WIAA regional tournament play, Elcho will travel to Florence where it will meet up with the No. 3-seeded Bobcats beginning at 5 p.m. The winner will challenge either No. 2 seed Three Lakes or No. 7 seed Niagara next Tuesday. The regional championship game is set for Thursday, May 23.
Elcho was dominant through the first game, out-hitting the visiting Knights 6-2.
Scoring a pair of runs in both the first and second innings, Elcho added a solo run in the third and two more in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Phelps tallied its only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
Sitting four on strikes, Hanson allowed the run on two walks and two hits.
Hanson also led the campaign at the plate with a double and a single. Bobbi Schauer had two singles, Makayla Raith cracked a double and Shelby Ruhland had a single.
Schauer continued her hit streak into game two, leading the team with a triple and a single to go 4-for-8 on the day. Alongside Ruppert’s two run homer, Hanson smacked a double and Granada, Raith and Brianne Siemers all had singles.
“Our hits were spread throughout which was good to see,” Krause said.
Elcho took an early 3-0 lead but Phelps tied it up in the top of the second. The Hornets took a slim 4-3 advantage but a triple by Phelps, three straight walks and a single allowed the opponets to tally an additional three runs to go up 6-4 and signal a pitching change for the Hornets. Elcho made it 6-5 when Siemers hit an RBI single to plate Hanson before the third out was called.
With her team down by one heading into the bottom of the fourth, Raith singled and moved her way to second on a pitching error with a wild pitch sending her to third. Schauer followed up with a walk to bring Granada to the plate. A fielder’s choice allowed Raith to plate the tying run but cut off Schauer in her attempt for the second out. Ruppert finished followed with her home run to put Elcho up 8-6. Unable to put anything together in the top of the fifth, Phelps was forced to settle with the loss.
With the start, Raith struck out two and allowed Phelps’ six runs off four hits and six walks. Hanson walked two in the final two innings to earn the win.
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