The Tomah High School softball team stormed back above the .500 mark Thursday.
The Timberwolves smashed three home runs in the first game and got solid pitching from freshman Ella Plueger in both contests to execute a 16-5, 6-1 sweep over Sparta in a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at LaGrange Elementary School.
The victory, combined with a 7-4 nonconference win over Westby Tuesday, boosted Tomah’s overall record to 9-6.
Tomah coach Dan Wall said the team is improving and having fun.
“I think they are aware of this being a successful season, but honestly we are trying to take it one game at a time and see what happens,” Wall said. “I truly think others, outside, are more aware of what our record is than us. I didn’t even know it until last night.”
Tomah, the road team in the first game, wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Josie Mathison led off the game with a home run, and the Timberwolves got two more hits in the inning but left both runners stranded.
Sparta responded with two runs in the bottom of the first, but the rest of the twinbill belonged to the Timberwolves. They regained the lead at 3-2 thanks to a sacrifice fly by Shay Lyden and run-scoring single by Mathison in the top of the second.
Tomah busted the game open with a five-run fourth. Journey Smith started the rally with a double that landed at the base of the leftfield fence, and Mathsion sent another home run over the centerfield fence for a 5-2 Tomah lead.
Reis Derousseau followed with a double, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Taylor Gular’s infield single for a 6-2 lead. Savannah Murphy then capped the rally with a two-run homer for an 8-2 Tomah advantage.
Tomah added eight more runs in the top of the seventh. The Timberwolves finished the game with 23 hits. Mathsion, Abby Sherwood and Alyssa Whaley all had three hits, and Mathison finished with four RBIs.
Plueger pitched a complete game for Tomah. She struck out six and gave up nine hits. She boosted her effectiveness in the nightcap, another complete-game outing in which she struck out just one but was backed by an errorless defense.
Meghan Perry led the Tomah offense with a pair of hits.
Wall said the key to the power barrage is patience at the plate.
“When we stay disciplined and try to hit solid line drives, they have the ability to leave the park,” Wall said. “We do at times over-swing and get under balls or roll over them when we have the ability to drive them. When we are patient, we are pretty fun to watch.”
Plueger was also the winning pitcher in the victory over Westby. She struck out three and gave up six hits.
Mathison led the offense with three hits and two RBIs. Murphy added three RBIs.
Tomah’s winning streak started after an 11-1 loss at Marshfield May 4. The game ended in the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule. Tomah had two hits and didn’t draw any walks against Marshfield pitcher Kate Konrady.
Friday’s nonconference game at Black River Falls was cancelled due to rain.
The Timberwolves have their toughest stretch of the season ahead of them with a doubleheader today (Monday) at Holmen and Thursday home contests against La Crosse Central (completion of a suspended game) at 2:30 p.m. and Onalaska at 5 p.m.
“I think we are pretty confident,” Wall said. “We played Onalaska pretty tough (April 24), and Holmen is going to be a good test for us.”
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at email@example.com.