Germantown nips Lancers, 1-0, off to state tournament
Third year in a row Warhawks qualify make trip to Madison
Two seniors stepped up for Germantown and sparked the Warhawks to a 1-0 win over Brookfield Central to earn the WIAA Sectional Championship on Thursday night at Germantown.
Senior shortstop Erika Berry had three of the Warhawks' five hits off Central's hard-luck loser Crystal Sicard and senior pitcher Kim Soderberg stopped the Lancers on three hits to send the Warhawks softball team to state for the third year in a row.
"That's a first in school history for the softball team," Germantown co-coach Kurt Raguse said. "We've never done that before."
The difference in the game was a home run by Berry in the third inning as Sicard walked two and struck out nine batters.
Soderberg, who recovered from a broken bone on the bottom of her right ring finger four weeks ago, was outstanding pitching to contact, changing speeds and moving the ball around.
She retired the final nine batters. She only managed two strikeouts. But defensively, she had six assists and one putout, didn't walk a batter and had the Lancers hit only four balls to the outfield.
Soderberg talked about her pitching style.
"I tried to stay focused and keep the ball out of the red zone," she said. "I try to move the ball in, out, up and down. My finger has healed pretty well. It only twinges now and then."
Raguse was proud of his pitcher.
"She had a tough game against Homestead, pitching 6.2 innings," Raguse said of Soderberg's performance on Tuesday "We didn't expect her to not give up any runs against a team like Brookfield Central. She changed speeds, but she's a little quicker than this."
When asked about the 'hitting machine' Berry, who had a single, homer and double, Raguse laughed. "I couldn't have said it better myself.
"She is a hitting machine. All year as our senior captain she made this team keep their focus. "I'm proud of all these girls."
There was no doubt Berry came ready to play.
"I came in confident," she said. "It only takes one pitch."
Coach Doug Lange was disappointed in the loss.
"We felt we were going to win," he said. "We felt we had the best pitcher, the best hitters. Obviously they played a great game.
"We didn't get any clutch hits with runners in scoring position. Against Divine Savior (5-1 sectional semifinal win) we did, but tonight we didn't.
"I thought our kids played good softball. Crystal pitched a heck of a game.We didn't hit as good as we hit before, but to their credit, it was their pitcher."
Senior captain Angie Chartier, having just played her final game for the Lancers, was emotional like most of the Lancer players.
"We came in with high energy and personally I thought we would bat a little better," she said. "Our batting fell short. It was a well-played game except for that one hit."
Sicard, who perhaps took the loss the hardest of anyone, said "I have two more years left. but we wanted this one for the seniors."
The Warhawks (17-8) play Menomonee Falls (25-4) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Goodman Diamond in Madison.
The Lancers finished 17-4.
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