By Craig Marx, Editor
The girls lost the first game of a doubleheader in Rhinelander on Tuesday 3-2, making a desperate push in the top of the seventh to tie the game following a two-run homer by Kendall Smith in the top of the final frame, plating herself and Allison Kondzela, who had previously reached on a walk.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Ivy Packard after a third base error helped the Hodags pick up the game-winning run.
Kondzela completed the game despite recording a loss. The senior pitcher struck out six batters while walking none, allowing three hits and just one run to her credit.
Offensively, Liv Weix was 2-4 on the day with a pair of singles. In all, the Lady Robins managed eight total hits while committing four errors defensively.
“This is a really tough loss. We got behind early and were able to get back in the game with a long ball by Kendall Smith. Rhinelander completely pitched around Allison Kondzela and we needed other girls to step up and get the key hit. Kendall did in the seventh, but we left 12 runners on base. We cannot continue to do that with playoffs right around the corner,” Coach Sandi Robrecht said.
The Lady Robins lost the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader 6-1, a loss that Coach Robrecht said might have been attributed to a loss of focus.
“It’s always hard to maintain focus in a big doubleheader,” Robrecht went on to add. “Rhinelander was able to plate another first inning run in the second game and we really couldn’t rally. I’m not sure if it was the Rhinelander comeback in the bottom of the seventh in the first game or if I didn’t prepare them well enough, but we just started slow again. Perhaps too many games in a short period of time. We out hit them again in the second game but still lacked a key hit to start playing some runs. Our pitchers threw well today. We should have played better and come home with two wins.”
Smith got the nod on the mound in Game Two, recording a loss in which she allowed fours amounting in five earned runs while striking out four Hodags and walking three. Steph Kuester picked up the win for Rhinelander even as the Robins out-hit the Hodags 7-1, striking out one Antigo batter and walking another.
Packard scored an early Rhinelander run from the lead-off spot, giving the Hodags a 1-0 lead that they would carry all the way until the fourth. Rhinelander broke it open in the fourth inning, scoring four more runs before adding another in the sixth.
Laurissa Belott would be the only Lady Robin to cross home plate after doubling in the fifth, brought in by a Laynie Weix double to give cut the lead temporarily to 5-1.
The Lady Robins play host to the Mosinee Indians tomorrow evening at 5 PM from Lake Park in Antigo.