Demons tied in loss column atop SLC with Wilmot

Ashley Schmalfeldt smashes a base shot against Wilmot two weeks ago. She has become one of the team’s best power hitters. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

 

By Daniel Schoettler

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

After Tuesday night, there should be no debate that Burlington Demons softball is among the state’s best.

Thanks to a season sweep of state power Westosha Central, the team is officially Southern Lakes Conference supremacy.

“This year, we thought we could beat all these good teams and we came into all these games confident,” senior Ashley Schmalfeldt said after the game. “It really brought our energy up and it made our outs and hits more worth it.”

As if a season sweep of the mighty Falcons isn’t rare enough, it was the first time all season that the Falcons were shut out.

Moreover, it was the first time Westosha has been shut out since 2014, during its state runner-up journey.

While this season’s first victory over Westosha was the Burlington softball program’s first since it rejoined the Southern Lakes Conference in 2009, the Demons have never swept the Falcons – a team that’s advanced to state four times this decade, including championships in 2013 and 2015.

While the past decade has been dominated by Westosha (two titles) and Union Grove (two titles), Burlington, which hasn’t made state in 30 years, seems to have a formidable squad that can contend for state when the playoffs begin May 23.

Last year’s conference champs now have three SLC losses (11-5, 6-3), and Burlington has buoyed into a first-place tie with Wilmot (10-5, 8-1).

The Panthers downed the Demons in Burlington two weeks ago.

On Tuesday in Paddock Lake, senior hurler Josie Klein threw a two-hitter, the offense pounded 14 hits and error-free defense fueled a 10-0, five-inning mauling.

The Demons tallied 10 hits in the first three frames to jump to a 7-0 lead.

The team added three more runs in the fifth, including a two-run home run off the bat of Schmalfeldt.

“It is great to hit a home run at a place where our team hasn’t won in at least seven years,” Schmalfeldt said. “It was a good feeling to get that big hit along with it.”

In the game, there were five Demons with two hits. Schmalfeldt was one of three Demons to drive in two runs. It was Schmalfeldt’s second game this season where she recorded two hits.

It was Klein’s sixth win and third shutout of the season.

“We had a lot of timely hits, great base running and we kept putting runs up on the board,” Burlington head coach Gary Caliva said. “She (Klein) hit her spots all game and kept going after them.”

Westosha Central junior Olivia Kazumura pitched 2-1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Sophomore Ellie Christenson pitched 2-2/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

The Falcons only managed two hits in the game. Senior Kayla Kerkman had a single in the first, while fellow senior Andrea Edquist had a double in the fourth.

“They hit the ball hard and we didn’t,” Westosha Central coach Tom Lampe said. “They dominated all three phases: offense, defense, and pitching, and when all three are done it is really hard for the other team to win.”

 

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