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Lake Mills gets the better of Jefferson 2-1

05/29/2024, 10:30pm CDT
By Contributed

7th inning clutch hitting comes through for L-Cats in a pitching duel

Lake Mills beats Jefferson with clutch hits in 7th; moves on to Sectional Finals

It was a big 7th inning that pushed the #2 seed Lake Mills L-Cats past the #1 seed Jefferson Eagles in the sectional semifinals to advance them to the sectional championship tomorrow night for the first time in program history.

The game quickly became a pitching duel between Ava Kleinfledt of Lake Mills and Ashlyn Enke of Jefferson.

Jefferson’s Hildy Dempsey scored the first run of the game in the first inning on a walk, followed by a steal, and a wild pitch. That was all the scoring that would take place for the next 6 innings as the two pitchers battled each other.

Going into the 7th inning, Jefferson held a slim 1-0 lead as both teams only notched 2-hits apiece at the plate. With two outs and Lake Mills down to its last breath, Payton Quest singled to right field. Senior Taylor Wollin had an 0-2 count and hit a line drive over center fielder Hildy Dempsey putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. A single by junior Aubrey Lepak scored two runs to put the L-Cats up 2-1.

Jefferson hit three consecutive ground balls to shortstop Haydenn Sellnow who put all three batters out to give Lake Mills the win.

Kleinfeldt earned the win in the circle. She allowed 1 run on 2 hits with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Ashlyn Enke also pitched a masterful game but took the loss for Jefferson. She allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked none and struck out 16.

“This is exactly what you expect in a game between a #1 and #2 seed whether you’re a coach, player, or fan of the game.” said coach Jim Clift. “It was a true battle between two very solid programs with excellent high school pitchers, both of whom exhibited their command tonight. Enke dominated us for most of the game in a way that hasn’t happened all year. But when the money is on the line, I just love our resolve and mental toughness. Taylor has always thrived when the pressure is on and tonight, so did Payton and Aubrey. Those were three key hits in very high pressure situations where, if any of them get out, we go home. Instead, they played what we preach; that the only pitch that matters is the next one. Our defense was excellent and Aubrey had a whale of a game. Catching that smash on a dead sprint in right field quite possibly saved the game as well. Haydenn ended the game doing what she’s done all year in handling three hot grounders to end the game. We were a true team tonight.”

Lake Mills travels to Pierce Park in Baraboo to face Mt. Horeb at 5 PM for the sectional championship.

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