On the road in a hostile environment but with a great contingent of Pumas' faithful the Pumas avenged the 1-0 loss to Lake Mills a couple of weeks ago.
Taylor Roughen, the Capitol North Player and Pitcher of the year was having her way with with the Pumas order through 3 2/3 innings having struck out eight batters of the 11 outs thus far but a double by Peyton Gest got things rolling with two outs. Genevieve Berner was inserted as a runner for the speed factor. She wouldn't need it to score though because junior Abby Klink who had owned Roughen's offerings in that 1-0 loss with a double and two singles, laced a liner over the head of the rightfielder for a double and a 1-0 lead.
The L-Cats knotted things up in the bottom of the fourth though when all conference lefty Ellie Evenson reached first on a high throw from third to first that drew Gest up off the bag and Evenson was ruled safe. A strikeout ensued but a single moved the runner and with two outs Poynette pitcher Holly Lowenberg endured a 10-pitch at bat by Ava Kleinfeldt who singled to tie the game up.
The Pumas went down in order in the fifth but in the sixth Roughen walked Loweberg who occupies the leadoff spot in the Pumas' order. It seemed that the L-Cat pitcher had lost just a bit of control at that point. The Pumas had worked her hard and had her pitch count up to 74 through five innings. Roughen then recorded a strikeout but it had taken another 11 pitches in the inning to get it. The next Pumas' batter, swinging on the first offering flew out to left for the second out. Enter Gest who has a been on a terror lately. Midway through a six-pitch at bat the Pumas sent Lowenberg to second on a steal attempt. She beat the throw and the L-Cats still chose to face Gest who made them pay with an rbi single and a 2-1 lead.
In the previous two games between these two teams there were a total of 2 runs scored. Each team had beaten the other 1-0. Lowenberg walked the #7 batter in the sixth meaning she'd have to face the top of the order again if she didn't get the inning over. She struck out the next L-Cat on three pitches.
In the Pumas' seventh Ashia Meister, batting in the sixth spot in the order singled just out of reach of a diving second sacker. The next two batters went down on a strikeout and come-backer to Roughen but Meister stole second in there. The #9 batter in the Pumas order was Laken Wagner. The sophomore catcher worked the count to 2-2 then hit a flair into short leftfield sending Meister scurrying home with a precious third run. The inning ended when Lowenberg hit a come-backer to Roughen.
So the L-Cats were down to their last three outs in the seventh. Lowenberg, a sophomore struck out the #9 batter for the first out then coaxed back-to-back comebackers out of the leadoff and #2 batter to send the Pumas to the Sectional final for the third straight year and the 15th time in program history.
The Pumas are now 20-4 on the season.
The Pumas will play Dodgeville who beat River Valley 7-3 today. That game is Wednesday in Prairie du Chien and starts at 5 PM.