Updated: May 25
SPORTSDESK - The 2022 softball playoffs were a quick experience for all seven Cloverbelt East conference teams. All seven conference members lost their respective opening round games, bringing their season to an end.
On Thursday, May 19, it was a trio of teams landing last in their group as nine seeds. It was Owen-Withee losing to Clear Lake in an eight versus nine D5 quarterfinal matchup at Clear Lake, final score 15-13. In D4, nine seed Spencer bit the dust as the Rockets lost at eight seed New Lisbon 4-3. Colby/Abby found itself slotted in D2 play as a result of their recent co-op. The nine-seeded Hornets were stung by number eight Rhinelander 14-9.
Moving to Tuesday, May 24th in division five, it was a pair of road teams exiting stage left. Six-seeded Gilman was tossed aside by three seed McDonell in five innings 15-1. Columbus Catholic, a five seed, had hung with the four seed Thorp Cardinals through the first three and a half innings, trailing 5-4. Thorp then scored four in the fourth and two more in the fifth and took down the Dons 11-4.
Division four play saw the only home seeded conference team in the way of the number three Loyal/Greenwood Greenhounds, They Hounds were upset by the seven-seed Osseo-Fairchild Thunder 18-15. Each team had six errors in the game that nearly saw the Greenhounds come all the way back after being down 16-3 coming into the bottom of the sixth inning. Loyal/Greenwood put up four in the sixth and seven in the seventh but came up three runs short of a dramatic comeback.
Rounding out the 0-7 conference playoff mark in division three were the six seed Neillsvile Warriors. Neillsville made the hour and fifteen minute trip to Galesville to take on the three seed Gale-Ettrick-Trempelau Red Hawks. The Warriors were able to find the score column in the fifth inning but not before the Red Hawks had already plated five in the game. G-E-T found an insurance run in the sixth and took the win 6-1.
All Cloverbelt East student bodies will now include members of their softball team as they look to cheer on their baseball team in the playoffs.
Cloverbelt East baseball playoff schedule:
Thursday, May 26
#4 Owen-Withee vs #5 Butternut/Mercer (D4)
#4 Northland Lutheran/WVL vs #5 Spencer (D4)
#3 Greenwood vs #6 Loyal (D4)
#4 Osseo-Fairchild vs #6 Neillsville (D3)
Thursday, May 31
#1 Columbus Catholic vs winner of NLWVL/Spencer (D4)
*Gliman did not field a baseball team in 2022