NEILLSVILLE SOFTBALL CLAIMS CONFERENCE TITLE
Updated: Jun 5
GILMAN - The Neillsville Warriors softball team ended Colverbelt East conference play with a win over Gilman on Thursday, 8-5. With the win, the Warriors finish with a conference record of 11-1, good enough for at least a share of the Cloverbelt Conference championship.
Neillsville split the regular season series with the current second-place team in the Greenwood/Loyal Greenhounds. The Greenhounds finish conference play on Friday vs. Gilman and Monday at Columbus Catholic. Should the Greenhounds drop either of those games, it would be an outright conference championship for the Warriors.
In Thursday's win at Gilman it was a four-run come-from-behind rally in the sixth inning to put Neillsville in the win column. After a single by Lizzy Jorgensen and Mia Trunkel reaching via error, Bella Opelt belted a double to score both base runners. Later in the inning, Terren Stockheimer batted in Opelt and Ava Mortenson scored on a wild pitch to complete four-run outburst.
Gilman would bring the tying runner to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners on first and third with two outs. Delaney Rochester would induce the ground ball back to the circle and fire to Stockheimer at first base for the final out of the game.
Opelt led the way offensively for Neillsville, reaching base and scoring three times along with the two sixth-inning runs batted in. From the circle, Rochester struck out three while giving up four earned runs in the win.
Neillsville has a nonconference game scheduled vs. Edgar on Monday, June 7, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. The Warriors begin the 2021 WIAA softball playoffs on as a No. 3 seed on June 14 with an opening round home game vs No. 6 seed Elk Mound.