Germantown edges Brookfield Central in softball sectional final
Kons' HR sets up fourth trip to state
Just when it looked like the momentum shifted back to Brookfield Central, Germantown senior Felicia Kons took it right back with one swing of the bat.
In an outstanding pitching duel between Central freshman Crystal Sicard and Germantown’s Amanda Witzlib, the sectional championship game at Brookfield East on May 30 looked like it was headed for extra innings.
Sophomore Haley Johnson led off the bottom of the sixth inning with Sicard’s only walk of the game, but Central’s all-star catcher Carly Sobrilsky picked her off first base with a rifle throw. Junior Erika Berry then struck out and the Lancers had momentum squarely on their side.
But then Kons came to the plate — she had a strikeout and a flyball in her first two appearances. And the lefthanded hitter took an outside pitch and deposited over the wall in left centerfield for a 1-0 lead.
“After five innings I felt the game was going to go into overtime, extra innings,” Fons said. “The pitch was a little outside, but it felt great when I hit it. I ran it out and when everyone cheered I knew it was a homer.”
Sicard the got Witzlib to fly out to left field, before easily retiring the Lancers 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to earn a 1-0 victory.
Whereas it would have been the Lancers first trip to state since 1978, the only time they accomplished the feat, the win send Germantown back to Madison for the fourth time and the second time in two seasons.
The Warhawks won the state title in 1996, 0-1 in 1997 and then 1-1 last year, beating Stevens Point, 3-2, and then losing, 6-3, to Sun Prairie in the semi-finals.
The Warhawks open with Stevens Point on Thursday following the first game, which should be around 11:15 a.m.
“There is certainly pressure against great teams” co-coach Kurt Raguse said. “It helps prepare us for the next time you go up there. All year long we have played in close games.”
The Warhawks have six 1-run victories, two 2-run wins and that includes three 1-0 victories.
“You know what to expect; nothing is going to get to you,” Raguse said. “When you’re playing 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 games, we’ve done it all year. The kids don’t give up, they just keep on playing.”
Next to Kons’ home run, the biggest play of the game was turned in by junior third baseman Erika Berry in the fourth inning.
Junior Gabby Tierney led off with a single and Sicard ripped a double to left center, putting runners on second and third with no outs.
But then junior Ashley Rossman grounded to Berry at third. Berry looked the runner back and then faked a throw to first and turned and tagged out Tierney who came too far off the bag.
Witzlib then threw a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third once again, but she settled down and struck out senior captain Lauren Schweitzer and got junior Maddie Culver to ground out to second to get out of the inning.
“That’s my fault, getting a girl picked off ” said Central coach Doug Lange. “Leave it at that.”
But the story of the game was Sicard and Witzlib, both teammates on the Pride of the Midwest team that won the summer nationals last year.
Witzlib allowed three hits — singles by Laura Hauser and Tierney and a double by Sicard — walked one and fanned seven.
Sicard was even better, allowing two hits - the homer by Kons and a single by Alexa Bechler — a hit batter and a walk, while fanning nine.
“Crystal — freshman or not — had that thing going on,” Raguse said. “She doesn’t worry no matter what the situation is. She knows her job and she just comes out and does it for you. She’s an amazing kid and we beat a really good team out here tonight.”
Lange, of course has the pleasure of coaching her three more years.
“She has been great. She’s a freshman, but she pitches like a senior,” he said. She did a great job today and she pitched the whole year that way. Every game we won, she pitched. She’s a great competitor and she is going to have a great high school career.”
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