The Waconia softball team’s postseason run ended prematurely on May 22, as the No. 7 seeded Wildcats were upset in a 13-4 loss to No. 10 Eden Prairie, booting WHS from the tournament.
WHS head coach Audra Lehrke said the Eagles of Eden Prairie were ready to play.
“Our offensive game was not as strong as EP,” she said. “They came out hitting right away in the first inning.”
Both teams were error stricken throughout the game, with Waconia committing eight defensive errors to Eden Prairie’s seven.
The Eagles established their dominating lead early, putting up seven runs in the top of the first inning on six hits, a fielder’s choice, and a WHS error.
Waconia put up its first run in the bottom half of the inning, on an RBI double from junior Nicole Groeneveld. Eden Prairie scored two runs in the second inning, before Waconia closed the gap to 9-2 by scoring one run on four different Eagle errors. The Wildcats continued to close the gap in the fourth inning, scoring two runs on two Eden Prairie errors, a single from sophomore Emily Anderson, and an RBI double from senior Kenzie Clouse.
The fourth inning was quiet, with the Eagles still leading 9-4, until Eden Prairie pushed three more runs across in the fifth to take a 12-4 lead on three hits and a Waconia error. After five and one-half innings, Eden Prairie led 13-4 and neither team would score again. The Wildcats were able to get two runners on the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but then batted into a double play to end the game and leave two stranded.
Eden Prairie scored 13 runs on 14 hits and seven errors. The Wildcats had four runs on six hits and eight errors.
Senior pitcher Kiela DeVlaeminck took the loss for WHS, throwing all seven innings and giving up five earned runs on 14 hits. She struck out four.
The six Wildcat hits were collected by junior Jordyn Goldschmidt, Kiela DeVlaeminck, Groeneveld, Anderson, senior Haley DeVlaeminck, and Clouse. Groeneveld, Haley DeVlaeminck, and Clouse were credited with one run batted in each.
Eden Prairie advanced to take on No. 2 Chanhassen immediately after the first game, and the Eagles lost to the Storm 8-6.
Earlier in the week, Waconia wrapped up its regular season with a 10-2 loss in Shakopee on May 20. Two four-run innings for Shakopee solidified the Sabers win, while Waconia was able to score one run in each of the first and fifth innings. The Wildcats scored two runs on five hits and had five errors. Shakopee’s 10 runs came on nine hits. Haley DeVlaeminck was 2-3 at the plate with an RBI, while other WHS hits came from Groeneveld (RBI), Kiela DeVlaeminck, and Goldschmidt. Freshman Lexi Kretsch took the loss for WHS, throwing five innings and allowed six runs (two earned) on five hits. She struck out one, walked one, and gave up a Shakopee home run. Kiela DeVlaeminck closed, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits in her one inning. She struck out one. Waconia finished the season 12-6 overall, 9-2 in the WCC – East. The ‘Cats finished second in the conference behind Orono’s undefeated 12-0 record.