By Craig Marx, Editor
Losing by a heart-wrenching 1-0 final to the Sturgeon Bay Clippers on Tuesday night to begin the WIAA playoffs, the Antigo Lady Robins softball season came to an end for the 2016 chapter.
“Tough loss. A well played game on both sides. [Hailey] Benesh threw well for the Clippers and really held our hitters in check. Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with the one big hit we needed to plate a runner or two. We had opportunities, just didn’t make it happen,” Robins coach Sandi Robrecht said.
Clipper pitcher Hailey Benesh was virtually unhittable in her complete game shutout, allowing just three Antigo hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Allison Kondzela took the loss, giving up eight hits with the scoring run not to her credit.
Rachel Miller scored the game’s only run as the lead-off hitter in the top of the first. Reaching first on a single, a later fielder’s choice allowing Benesh to reach second also plated Miller.
The Robins had four three up, three down innings as the bats fell cold to Benesh. A brief rally with back-to-back, one-out base hits in the bottom of the third from Montana Aiuppy and Lizzy West fell short with a subsequent sacrifice groundout and a ground to the pitcher.
The Clippers entered the playoff seeded No. 9, facing No.8 slotted Antigo. Sturgeon Bay (10-12 this past season) will have its work cut out for itself as the team faces No. 1 Luxemburg-Casco in the second round of the playoffs.
Antigo finished the year 12-11, and will be without the services of departing seniors Aiuppy and Morgana Smith next season.
“We are going to miss our seniors,” Robrecht said in closing. “They were solid and kept the right side of our infield together for two straight years.”