The Ripon High School Tiger softball team hung with the Campbellsport Cougars much better than it did the first time around this season, but fell 4-1 on the road last week Thursday.
A big reason for the improvement was Ripon’s pitching as after allowing 14 runs on 16 hits and five walks in a 14-2 six-inning loss in the season opener, Laila Simonis and Emily Kasuboski teamed up to allow the Cougars to score just the four runs on nine hits and three walks.
“That’s a huge improvement having both the pitchers be on and both pitch well … against that team,” Ripon head coach Mike Makarewicz said, noting that Campbellsport is a good hitting team.
He added that defensively the Tigers also played better in last week Thursday’s meeting, committing just two errors after having four in the first game and a number of other misplayed balls.
Ripon (3-7 conference, 4-9 overall) jumped on the scoreboard first as it scored a run in the top of the second inning on a Kylie Disterhaft RBI groundout. Cassidy Mader scored on the play after singling to start the frame, stealing second base and advancing to third base on a wild pitch.
The Cougars (8-2 conference, 11-4 overall) got the run back in the bottom of the inning on three singles and scored two runs in the third on three singles and a walk. They then added their final run in the fourth on a single and double.
Campbellsport had the bases loaded in the fourth with just one out, thanks to a pair of walks following the RBI double, but Kasuboski came in to pitch for Ripon and retired the next two batters and did not allow a run the rest of the game, giving up just one hit in 2 2/3 innings.
The Tigers were out-hit in the game 9-4 and committed two errors. Lexi Miller accounted for two of Ripon’s hits, while Kasuboski and Mader collected the other two.
Tigers show no quit, sweep Plymouth
Down 10 runs after 3 1/2 innings in game one of a doubleheader?
That was no problem for the Tigers last week Tuesday as they came back to defeat the Plymouth Panthers 13-12 in walk-off fashion. They then carried that momentum over to win game two 12-2 in six innings.
“I can’t stress enough how proud I am for that group, not to give up ...,” Mike Makarewicz said.
Ripon fell behind Plymouth 5-0 after a half inning and trailed 7-0 entering the bottom of the second. Mike Makarewicz noted that both of the Tigers pitchers are good, but Kasuboski was struggling to hit her spots as she gave up seven runs, all earned, on seven hits and five walks, in an 1 1/3 innings of work.
Simonis relieved Kasuboski in the second inning and held the Panthers’ down a bit, allowing just five runs — three of which came in the fourth inning — on nine hits and two walks in the final 5 1/3 innings.
Ripon’s bat also came alive starting in the fourth inning as Avary Makarewicz hit a solo home run to get the Tigers on the board and also help alleviate the pressure in the fifth inning of possibly being 10-run ruled.
The Tigers then scored seven runs in the fifth inning on four hits, two of which were doubles, and three walks to get within 11-8. Makarewicz had one of the doubles, which drove in two runs. Ripon also benefited from two passed balls and one wild pitch in the frame, which led to three of the runs scoring.
After the Panthers got one of the runs back in the top of the sixth inning, Ripon responded to score three in the bottom half to tie the game at 11. Plymouth then scored one run in the top of the seventh to regain a 12-11 advantage, but like they had done al