The Ripon High School Tigers softball team may not have won its regional semifinal game against the Winneconne Wolves Monday night.
But it put up one heck of a fight.
The Tigers traded blows with the Wolves throughout the game, ultimately falling 6-5 on the road.
The loss ended a four-game winning streak for Ripon, which was its longest since 2013. It also put an end to a season that saw it record more wins (nine) than the past five seasons combined, when it was victorious seven times. Ripon finished the season with a record of 9-12 overall.
“We matched our intensity and, for the most part, we had the entire coaching staff and that entire team on their heels ... ,” Ripon head coach Mike Makarewicz said. “Even if they made a mistake at the plate, they were ready in the field. We left everything they had on the field, and that’s all that I can ask for.”
Ripon fell behind Winneconne 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning on a single and double. The score stayed that way until the top of the fourth inning, when Ripon hung a three-spot to take a 3-1 lead.
“We made the adjustment and we ended up hitting the ball,” Mike Makarewicz said.
Lexi Miller began the fourth inning with a double and scored a batter later on Abby Radloff’s RBI single. Avary Makarewicz then doubled home Radloff, before coming across to score herself on an Alli Bumby RBI groundout.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Winneconne answered with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning on a walk, two singles and a double to retake a 4-3 advantage.
Ripon responded with two runs in the top of the fifth inning on an error, two singles and a Avary Makarewicz RBI double to take a 5-4 lead, but Winneconne then tied the game with a run in the bottom of the frame thanks to a one-out triple and then an RBI single and took the lead in the sixth with a sacrifice fly.
It had the opportunity to score that winning run due in part to an error, which is the only one the Tigers committed.
While Ripon matched the Wolves in the hit column in the game with eight, it wasn’t able to record any in the final two innings as it was retired in order in both the sixth and seventh frames.
Emily Kasuboski suffered the loss on the mound for Ripon as she allowed the six runs, five earned, on eight hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings. Simonis came in with the bases loaded in the sixth inning and gave up an inherited run on the sacrifice fly, but did not allow a hit in 2/3 of an inning. She did walk one.
Offensively, the Tigers were led by Miller, Radloff and Avary Makarewicz as they each finished with two hits. Erika Mills and Alyssa Swanke accounted for Ripon’s other two hits in the losing effort.