Updated: May 1
By Jason Zaleski
Welcome back to our alphabetical list of five baseball and softball teams that we think you should find a way to watch due to their exemplary play this season. Find them quickly as this list is dynamic and you will see teams come and go from this list regularly due to their performance, lack of, or better performance of another.
Many games mentioned below are broadcast live on Zaleski Sports. See the weekly schedule by clicking here.
Softball Power Five
Assumption (4-0)- As the division five Royals laid waste to the upstart and division three Stratford Tigers, they again put their stamp on the Marawood South conference as the team to beat in 2022. Anna Schooley bats .583 with seven RBI including a home run. Leadoff hitter Claire Nelson has been on base three of every four at bats and has scored three times thru four games played. The Assumption Royals play at Auburndale on Monday then host the Eagles on Tuesday.
Athens (3-0)- The Bluejays have scored in bunches so far this season, outscoring its opponents 59-5. Manager Craig Diedrich has been getting production from all spots of the order including Tuesday's number two hitter, Addison Lavicka.
The third baseman Lavicka has an onbase percentage of .714 and has batted in four while clobbering two triples with eight total bases through three games. Tough as nails catcher Elle Gauerke leads the team in on base percentage at .857 and blocks balls in the dirt behind the plate while taking kicks to the chin running the bases. Athens plays at Rib Lake on Monday, then hosts the Redmen on Tuesday.
Loyal/Greenwood (2-1)- In the second year of its co-op program, the Loyal/Greenwood Greenhouds appear to be the team to beat in the Cloverbelt East (what is that growling noise coming from Neillsville and Columbus Catholic?). As soon as team admins unlock their Game Changer for us, we will tell you about all the player stats on the season so far. In the meantime, watch this Couch on a Couch episode featuring manager Greg Brock.
Marshfield (3-0)- First year manager Becky Linzmeier took over a talented Marshfield Tigers roster and has it steered to a perfect record so far. A couple wins in the Hodag Dome and the season/conference opener on Monday over Wausa West and the Tigers have outscored opponents 36-3. With the conference's top pitcher in Courtney Donahue, Marshfield won't need to score 10 a game to win, but they might. If you like big bats, top tier pitching, and a great group of girls, then these Tigers are for you. A WVC championship is the mission for Marshfield in 2022, which hasn't happened for the striped cats in more than 20 years. Five home games next week at Madison Field. See you at the ball park!
SPASH (4-0)- It had been 20 consecutive conference championships for the SPASH Panthers until DC Everest interrupted Tom Drohners plans a year ago. Like Marshfield, the Panthers will come at you with talent at all positions on their way to the top of the conference in 2022. Bring your daughter to the next Panthers game and tell her to play like Maddy Miklesh. The SPASH catcher is textbook from behind the plate and can handle any pitching standing next to it. Every spot in the order can rake and the pitching staff will make opposing batters think about joining the track team next year. Three games next week for SPASH until bedlam in Marshfield on April 19th.
Baseball Power Five
Amherst (6-0)- The Amherst Falcons stepped onto the practice field for the first time last month with one hand on the conference championship trophy. For manager Bill Held and his Falcons, it seems like the regular season is all about post season preparation and marching to a state tournament appearance.
When looking at the schedule, it's tough to find a team that can put a scare into the Falcons. UW-Milwaukee commit Ben Lee is nearly unhittable to go along with Wyatt Blaskowski and Landon Moe, the trio already has 31 strikeouts in only 18 innings pitched. Amherst figures to be on this list wire-to-wire. Watch the Falcons at home next week on Thursday and Friday.
Athens (2-0)- Just two games played for the Athens Bluejays this season, so we'll save you the parade of stats this week. Manager Todd Diethelm won't have many decisions to make this season other than getting everybody playing time through what should be many big wins for his Jays. Athens is at home Tuesday and Saturday next week at Tucker Westfall Memorial Field at Athens High School
Columbus Catholic (1-0)- It's been so long since the Columbus Catholic Dons won a conference championship that I haven't been able to find anybody at the school that can tell me when it last happened. A very good chance that on May 13th, after the last Cloverbelt Conference game has taken place, that manager Jared Krasselt will tell me that his Dons are conference champs. Road games at Bonduel and Neillsville next week before the Dons return home on Friday to take on Owen-Withee.
Mosinee (3-1)- All three wins for Adam Olson's Indians this year have been shutouts. Stratford, Wisconsin Rapids, and Antigo couldn't figure out Mosinee pitching and is a warning to all upcoming opponents. Taylor Lemanski and Keagan Jirschle have started strong from the plate while Eli Miland is the RBI leader so far. The Indians will likely need to chase down Medford in conference and those games on April 26 and April 29 will be must see. You can see Mosinee in action next week at home on Monday vs Lakeland.
SPASH (2-0)- The SPASH Panthers have been ranked in the top 25 in multiple preseason polls and begin the season on my list too. Two wins for manager Kraig Terpstra's club over DeForest last weekend are the only games for the Panthers thus far. An interesting game next week at Medford before SPASH returns home for a Saturday doubleheader against Onalaska at Bukolt Park.