Wausaukee pitcher Lauren Edlbeck makes a diving catch and turns it into a double play in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s regional win over Goodman/Pembine. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Wausaukee pitcher Lauren Edlbeck makes a diving catch and turns it into a double play in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s regional win over Goodman/Pembine. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
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WAUSAUKEE - Averaging 10 runs a game this season, it seemed like just a matter of time before Wausaukee broke through in Tuesday's regional softball game.

After a slow start offensively, the Lady Rangers did break through in the middle and late innings for a 5-1 win over Goodman/Pembine in a WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal.

Wausaukee (15-4) will play in the regional title game at home Thursday at 5 p.m. against Tuesday's Three Lakes vs. Florence winner.

Each team had just four hits. The Patriots took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Miranda Kelly singled, stole second and scored on Hailey Parr's base hit to right field.

A one-out walk by Kaylor DeLaet and Lauren Edlbeck's two-out walk set the table for Morgan Zeutzius in Wausaukee's half of the third. Zeutzius delivered Wausaukee's first hit, a line-shot two-run double into the right/center gap.

"Just go up swinging, hit the ball hard," Zeutzius said of her approach at the plate. "Concentrate on the ball."

Zeutzius has moved up from seventh to fifth in the batting order.

"She's earned that spot," Wausaukee coach Sue Stoltenberg said. "She has a very nice, compact swing, gets the bat on the ball."

Two innings later, Sara Wickman lined a single to right, stole second and scored on an opposite-field single by Zeutzius.

One-out walks to Stevie Oldenburg, Veronica Shaw and Crysta Clark spelled trouble for the Patriots in the sixth. DeLaet lined an RBI single to right and Wickman's sacrifice fly drove in the fifth run.

"We knew we were gonna come back," Zeutzius said. "We always do."

Edlbeck had impeccable control, with no walks and one hit batsman. She struck out five.

"Outstanding job," according to Stoltenberg. "In the last several weeks she had really been coming on strong. She's very confident. That shows a lot this year."

DeLaet, the Wausaukee second baseman, made a couple of glove gems, including a nice backhanded stab to rob Jenna Decker of a hit in the fifth. Edlbeck made a diving catch of Marissa Moloney's bunt and fired to first for a rally-killing double play in the fourth. Zeutzius made good plays at first. The game ended when catcher Bethany Gabriel fired to Wickman at shortstop to catch Kayleigh Betka trying to steal second.

"This was one game that everything kind of came together," Stoltenberg said.

The Patriots (8-7) also threw some leather. First baseman Sydney Braaten and right fielder Gabby Johnson had several glove gems.

"Tonight was definitely one of our best nights," Goodman/Pembine coach Sara Seidel said of her defense. "Our girls tend to rise to the occasion. They play at the level of the team we're playing."

WP - Lauren Edlbeck 7 IP, 1R, 1ER, 4H, 0W, 5K
LP - Rachel Stankevich 6 IP, 5R, 5ER, 4H, 8W, 5K

Leading hitters (Wausaukee): Morgan Zeutzius 2x3, 2B, 3 RBIs; Kaylor DeLaet & Sara Wickman 1x3, RBI; (Goodman/Pembine): Hailey Parr 1x3, RBI; Jenna Dercker 1x2; Stankevich & Miranda Kelly 1x3

Goodman/Pembine 100 000 0 - 1
Wausaukee 002 012 x - 5