PAULLINA - The South O'Brien softball team got a chance to play a pair of games against the #1-ranked Class 1A team in the state here on Monday, and the Wolverines were able to provided the Akron-Westfield Westerners with a real challenge.
Game One wound up in A-W's favor, 9-1, and although the final score doesn't look like it was much of a contest, consider these facts:
Akron-Westfield collected only four hits in seven innings against the Wolverines' Emily Riedemann (SOS had three hits) and all nine of their runs were unearned. So once again, poor fielding was a real headache for the SOS girls, as they committed nine errors.
Casie Rehder led the Wolverines' hitting attack, as she had two of the team's three hits, one of which was a three-bagger. Rehder also scored the only South O'Brien run and scored on the team's other base knock, a single by Kellie Einck. Emily Riedemann pitched all seven innings allowing no earned runs on four hits, while walking four, fanning three and hitting two batters.
SOS Coach Heather Struve said, "A-W plays a great short game, with all of their bunting and slapping. It can get you very frustrated if you don't get outs right away. Considering our error count, we were glad to make this one go the full seven innings.
The second game was an old-fashioned pitcher's dual between South O'Brien sophomore Taylor Paulsen and A-W's Brandi Davis. South O'Brien had a
chance to win it in the 6th inning when they had bases loaded, but Davis struck out a batter for the third out, and then struck out three more SOS batters in the seventh to nail down a 1-0 Akron-Westfield win.
Erin Brasser and Emma Sweeney each had one hit in the game for South O'Brien, and pitcher Paulsen went the full seven innings, allowing one unearned run on six hits, while walking five and registering three K's.
SOS Coach Struve commented, "We played an excellent overall game against the #1 ranked team in the state! Taylor pitched a great game for us and we finally came together on defense and only committed two errors as a team. This game showed our girls what we are capable of and what we need to do on a nightly basis. It was definitely an exciting, intense game!"
South O'Brien now has an overall record of 6-13 this year, and they are 4-8 in the War Eagle Conference, of which undefeated Akron-Westfield is also a member.