By Stephen Knoll
Shiocton softball has found its rhythm midway through the season as it starts to make a late push for the playoffs.
The Chiefs have been on a five game win streak, blowing out opponents on its way to the post season.
It started with a Monday double header with the Bonduel Bears in Shiocton.
Shiocton jumped out to an early start after pitcher Gabby Gunderson shut down her batters in the first inning.
Jacqueline Korth got the ball moving with a leadoff single and then stole second to put herself in scoring position.
Leigha Young did one better by blasting a double into the outfield to score Korth, Young then stole third.
Young would come around to score off a sacrifice fly from Tina Ubl.
The second inning would be another three up, three down inning for Gunderson.
Keeping the pressure on the Bears Shiocton would plate another run in the third inning and four more in the fourth.
Bonduel would avoid the shut out with one run in the third, but the first half of the double header went to Shiocton 7-1.
The second game would be much of the same for both sides.
Shiocton put up three in the first inning continuing the momentum from its first win.
Cassidy Defferding took over pitching duties and kept the Bears quiet, with a bit of help from some stellar defensive play.
“(Bonduel) hit a high fly to shallow right field, Carley (Kriewaldt) caught the ball and proceeded to throw out the runner trying to tag up and score from third,” head coach Dawn Kanaman said. “It was a really big double play to help preserve the shutout.”
The Chiefs would again plate seven runs, off six different runners, in its rout of Bonduel.
Next on the docket was a one-off against Menominee that was over as quickly as it started.
Shiocton jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but in the second the floodgates were opened.
Some aggressive base running and defensive mistakes allowed the Chiefs to pile on 12 runs in the top of the second inning.
Another four would be tacked on before the game was mercifully ended with a 17-0 blowout.
To finish out the week Shiocton faced an important double header against conference rival Iola-Scandinavia.
It would be a much tougher match up for the Chiefs than its previous games, but the aggressive style of play would help keep the team on top.
Shiocton jumped out to an early 3-1 lead with consistent hitting and some help from the defense with errors.
It proved to be enough to keep the Chiefs ahead as it pushed towards a 4-2 win.
Game two in the double header would come down to the wire as both teams had a better feel for the other.
Held scoreless through three innings, Ubl finally put Shiocton on the board with a double and then scored off an error.
Iola-Scandinavia tied things up in the fifth and the Chiefs would need some late game magic to keep the win streak going.
Aly Durham would start the inning off with a single to get things going.
She would be brought around to home with a Kellyn Van Straten swing, the walk off single sealing the game for Shiocton.
Shiocton is currently in second place in the Central Wisconsin East conference and with only a few games left it will be battling for first.
Gabby Gunderson no. 11 rifles a pitch over the plate against Bonduel. – Photo by Stephen Knoll
By Stephen Knoll