Hit and Run Tour! 2009
by Steve M. Lyga

Here we go again.
It’s two-thousand and nine!
The softball team is being assembled,
These girls seem ready to “tow the line“.

We graduated a “shipload” last season.
A basketball injury has cost us a bit more.
But, these young ladies seem awfully hungry.
The Dairyland Conference has an open door.

We gave it an awfully good run last season,
but we ended up just a little bit short.
We’re incredibly young, but heavy on talent,
The girls are pretty excited about playing this sport.

The entire C-FC infield will be new this year,
A bunch of rookies will need to step in and play.
Some freshmen will challenge for starting spots.
They’ll need to mature real quickly today!

We do have a couple of seniors,
their leadership skills will hold down the fort.
Sammy Murphy will be back in center field,
Annette Foegen will be spending a little time at short.

Kayla Pronschinske will fill an outfield spot,
Stephanie Stevens will keep doing her best.
Junior, Nicki Dahl is on the mound once again.
She stood tall during last season’s inaugural test.

The sophomore component to this year’s squad,
will also be asked to carry a lot of the load.
Kelly McCamley Brianna Williams, and Sadie Cieminski
Will be using their skills now… , and down the road.

Some freshmen will also play a role on this team.
This season we’ll be starting at least two.
Becca Bagniewski will handle duties at third base,
and Kate Willadsen will be catching for this crew.

A sophomore and two other freshmen,
will be utilized as courtesy runners and probably more.
With Kayla Palkowski, Holly White and Bethany Schmitt
There’s a bright future behind this door.

Hitting will be an emphasis this season,
on last year’s team, it was the defense that ruled.
A number of girls are developing their pitching mechanics.
The Pirates’ defense is nearly re-tooled.

The Norse of Whitehall will be our first opponents.
We’ll open on a Saturday afternoon again this year.
Nicki Dahl came out and tossed a season opening no hitter,
Our Lady Pirates put their offense in gear.

It took just five short innings,
To send the Lady Norsemen on their way.
Maybe this team really has what it takes,
To compete for the Dairyland title,… today!

With one successful outcome under our belt,
the Rivermen of Alma provided us another test.
These neighbors to the north usually battle us hard,
but we felt quite ready to welcome this guest.

We decided to go with Nicki Dahl once again,
as this seasons’ youth needs to believe and get on a roll.
Dahl worked with a pitching coach this past summer,
She’ll be a big key in achieving our goals!

Dahl was on and tossed a no hitter through five,
the offense exploded for nine runs early in the game.
We defeated Alma by a score of 9 to1,
This Pirate softball team seems to be creating a name!

We went on the road to play Alma Center-Lincoln
They have a new coach causing us to get a little tense.
We arrived awfully late and stretched out quickly.
We got a laugh when Erica fell through the fence.

The game went as planned as we got a bunch of hits early,
there seemed to be a lot of wind in the Pirates’ sails.
We defeated the Hornets by a nine to zero score,
Our phenomenal defense wouldn’t let us fail.

I’ve been around baseball and softball for thirty plus years,
while involved in umpiring and coaching the same.
But this is the first time I’ve ever been this close,
to being a part of a true “Perfect game“!

Kate, Kayla and Kelly pounded out 7 of 13 hits
We really seemed to be “on” that day.
Dahl and the Pirates still faced only 21 hornets
Thanks to a Foegen to McCamley double play.

The Blair-Taylor Wildcats would be next on the docket,
our hitting seems to be explosive and driven.
We owned a five to zero lead after the five innings,
But with a couple of 6th inning errors, 3 runs were given.

The Pirates came out on top, five to three,
we have now been victorious four times in a row.
A rematch is forthcoming as we head our ship up river,
we need to keep these young Pirates on a roll.

Let’s invade Alma, we get to play them again,
and for the first time, Annette Foegen will be on the mound.
She really rose to occasion by throwing a gem,
A three hitter! She wasn’t clowning around.

The Rivermen were certainly pumped up and inspired,
as Ali Ritscher tossed a 1 hitter through four.
But the Pirates exploded for 13 hits in final 3 innings,
To finish the game with a 14 to 3 final score.

The Mustangs of Melrose-Mindoro were next in line,
They always seem to be a thorn in our side.
This game was no different than all of the others,
entering the 7th inning, we were still in a 2-2 tie.

With a tie game in the seventh and two outs on the board,
the Mustangs had two runners on second and third.
Dahl worked the batter and forced an infield pop up,
A collision ensued, the ball was dropped, you didn’t hear a word.

Such are mistakes from an infield that’s still pretty young,
But it’s getting time we can no longer use that excuse.
We’re going to learn from this miscue of our team,
so we no longer will suffer from this abuse.

We lost more than the game during the defeat,
Annette Foegen had injured her upper leg.
But we have a little depth in our stable of ponies,
Kayla Palkowski will be called on to play, we won’t have to beg.

Let’s get on the bus to Eau Claire Immanuel,
the winner of this game will be standing in first.
We brought out the short game and used the “V-8”
During the fifth inning, we finally got our burst.

We exploded for four additional runs,
after battling the Lancers to a one to one tie.
Excitement was all around the team and the fans,
with a five to one victory, we lit up the sky.

During the 4th game of the week we took on the Cards
Eleva-Strum was winless in seven previous tries.
Two lightning delays slowed the contest to a crawl,
Solid defense by the Pirates was really no surprise.

Everyone dressed in black got on the field to play,
while Stephanie Stevens had earned her first start.
The Pirate offense caught fire in the fourth,
Every one of these Pirates played a big part.
It took less than 4 innings to send the Cards packing,
The C-FC hitters are really swinging the “tin”.
Sadie Cieminski received some valuable time on the mound,
The Pirates earned a fifteen to zero win.

It’s now week number six and we’re still on top,
It’s time to bring Indee-Gilmanton into our home.
Sporting the new T’s with the phrase “Hit and Run”
Are these Pirates really “Bad to the Bone”?

The Indees were coming off of an emotional victory themselves.
Last week they defeated Mel-Min by a score of 2 to 1.
We came out swinging and had three first inning scores,
After 5 innings, we had held them to none!

Although we played solid defense throughout the contest,
in the sixth, we had 2 errors and 2 mental mistakes, as well.
But our defense pulled through and secured the victory,
By a score of three to one, the Indees of Indee-Gilmanton fell.

The track team went with us to Whitehall,
An efficient way to use one driver and to conserve fuel.
We hammered out 7 hits in the first inning.
Beating the Whitehall Norsemen, to me, is always cool!

After the first half inning the Pirates were rolling,
we scored 6 runs and never looked back.
One of the players asked if they needed to “pull up the plow”,
we’re developing some speed in this Pirate attack.

Sami Murphy and Becca Bagniewski each got on base 4 times,
all of the varsity players saw valuable time on the field.
Stephanie Stevens got her first double as a Pirate,
In the end, an eight to nothing victory was sealed.

Annette Foegen was now back playing defense,
Her quadracep injury had finally healed.
She finished the game on the pitcher’s mound,
after playing some shortstop and a stint in right field.

We also received a sort of a “shot in the arm”
As the doctors told Erica Willadsen she could play.
She was really excited that she could compete again,
She got the opportunity to pinch hit for us today.

Wow! This team has won 9 out of ten,
Maybe we COULD compete with last years crew.
We’re still tied with Eau Claire Immanuel for first,
It’s a long season, so let’s see how we do.

Let’s bring on the Hornets from Lincoln again,
we took our team pictures before the game.
A plan that will certainly never happen again.
Our offensive effort was pretty lame.

Although the defense played very well
The Pirates only managed three hits over all.
We lost two to one to a team with one prior win
A Hornet runner left base early, but we didn’t get the call.

Hey! We need to get this season rolling again,
We’ll go back to the fundamentals of hitting.
If we don’t get our starters back on track
The bench is where they’ll be sitting.

We’re heading the bus to Blair-Taylor,
we’ve got the feeling, we’ve “righted” our ship.
We put on a hitting show in the first inning.
The team was emotionally ready to come on this trip.

Nicki Dahl was firing on all cylinders
Annette Foegen also came into the game to throw.
Everyone on the team got an opportunity to get on the field
Our team depth is really starting to show.

We’re still on top of the Dairyand Conference,
and we‘ve got major revenge on our minds.
One of this season’s losses came via the ponies,
We seem to be more mature…., this time.

This game would be a defensive battle,
we always seem to bring out the best in each other.
A one-to-one tie going into the seventh,
on the edge of the seats were our sisters and brothers.

Kayla Pronschinske came through with a big hit,
she’s been ripping the ball well this year.
A little interview on television channel “8”,
filled her with more pride than fear.

But this game would turn out different than before,
our offense had finally found it’s groove.
We held on to the three to two victory,
we stole the horseshoes from the Mustangs hooves.

We’re still on top in the conference and loving it all,
the Immanuel Lancers will provide another test.
A hard throwing pitcher and a softball tradition,
we know we’ll have to come out and play our best.

In the first inning we opened the flood gates,
and our offense exploded for three really big scores.
Nicki Dahl was throwing “bee bees”,
And our defense kept shutting the door.

These Lady Pirates are really “believing”,
as they destroyed Immanuel by a thirteen to three score.
The game was over in under six innings,
room in the trophy case we’ll need to explore.

After another emotional victory over the Lancers,
I’m glad Eleva-Strum Central is next on our list.
Our third game of the week will allow us some rest,
a victory would allow a number one to come out of our fist.

We scored eight runs in the first inning,
Our starters would once again be pulled out of the game.
Foegen, Cieminski and Kelly Hunger would all take the mound,
They completed a “No hitter”,… and did it before the rain.

An eighteen to nothing victory over the Cards,
Holly White and Bethany Schmitt each hit a double.
Stephanie Stevens assisted in a nice double play,
Brianna Williams and a stellar defense kept us out of trouble.

Well this week of high emotion isn’t done yet,
even though, as a team we feel emotionally burned.
We’ve achieved our preseason goal of winning the conference,
A late season tournament without rest leaves each of us concerned.

The Tomah tourney was extremely cold and windy,
“Shiver me timbers” the old Pirates might say.
We didn’t wake up for this contest ‘til it was way too late,
we actually got rolling at the end of the game.

We lost to Tomah by a couple of runs (7-4),
in this particular contest, we gave a gallant try.
The West Salem game isn’t worth talking about,
we really didn’t show up and that’s no lie.

Well, “Holy Buckets” we’re still number one,
but the Indees of Indee-Gilmanton, we’ll need to take care.
It’s finally sunny and hot and we feel that we’re ready,
the conference championship we’re not ready to share.

The game was a defensive battle through out,
we finally took a two to zero lead in the fourth.
But a couple of errors in the fifth inning cost us the lead,
This is becoming a battle of the South and the North.

We moved runners to second a couple of times
But we just couldn’t push them across the plate.
The Indees had just one threat in the eighth
A play we practice called “DILL” worked great.

In the tenth inning we put together a few hits,
and we batted in the go-ahead run.
The Pirate fans and the girls on the bench
were screaming, cheering, and having lots of fun.

In the bottom of the 10th we were confident as could be,
the first two Indee-Gilmanton batters went down.
We fielded a routine grounder but the throw got away,
our excitement turned into a frown.

Another Indee “texas leaguer” would happen to drop,
Indee-Gilmanton was now posting a legitimate threat.
But the Pirates weren’t about to go down that easily,
this game was as exciting as it could get.

An Indee batter with a 2 and 2 count,
hit a flyball, which should have ended the game.
But the play was botched, the ball got away,
and our feeling wasn’t quite the same.

Bad things happen to really good people,
we’ll need to forget this loss and quickly move on.
We still own a share of the Dairyland Championship,
Our season certainly has more pros than cons.

Our fantastic season was awarded once again,
with our area’s number one seed.
We’ll have a bye in round one of the tournament,
a week of fundamentals will get us back up to speed.

Practices flew by as the week progressed,
fielding and hitting skills were again highlighted on the plan.
Kate Willadsen gave us a laugh while at first base,
looks like we’ll be playing Alma Center-Lincoln again!

There was moisture coming in, but we needed to play,
we got the Pirate offense rolling in the first.
That two run lead would grow to five,
But the Hornets still had that hunger and thirst.

It took us a complete seven innings,
to finally put the Hornets to rest.
A ten to six victory over Alma Center,
it was now time to prove that we ARE the best.

We would now be playing the Indees again,
and on to sectionals the winner of this game would advance.
This contest’s victor would have the opportunity,
to keep moving their season toward “the big dance”.

Bring on the Indees, we’re ready to rock
last weeks’ crushing defeat has us hungry for this date.
Revenge over the loss isn’t even on our minds,
but we do believe it could actually be fate.

Things that don’t kill you will make you stronger,
perhaps we just needed to refocus on our goal.
It didn’t take too long for the Pirates to respond,
our offense got three runs in the first to get on an early roll.

“Baby Dahl” and the defense were steaming hot,
we had a perfect game going through four.
The Indees got a late run in the 5th inning
But our Lady Pirates defensive squad slammed the door.

The Willadsen sisters led the charge at the plate,
as they combined for six hits in seven at bats.
They also contributed nine RBI’s,
a fourteen to one victory needed no rally hats.

Sami Murphy couldn’t wipe the smile off her face,
this week had been tough on her entire family as well.
The excitement was engulfing all of our communities,
This season‘s “Opportunities” allowed this team to gel.

Our next stop will be sectionals at Independence,
the New Lisbon Rockets will be our next foe.
They have a good pitcher and a brute behind the plate.
experiencing good competition will allow us to grow.

The contest was a defensive battle to the end,
their pitcher was a master of the change up-drop.
In the fourth inning, we finally got on the scoreboard,
and we managed enough runs to come out on top.

The fans of both teams were really boisterous
It seemed like half of the C-FC student body was there.
There were all kinds of these bright yellow T-shirts,
A lot of baseball players came and showed they cared.

The final score was the Pirates by a couple,
we beat the New Lisbon Rockets, four to two.
Kate led the Pirates at the plate with two hits,
with 13 strike outs, Dahl and company came through.

Wow! We’re in the sectional championship game,
the winner will have an invitation to fate.
If we could pull off another Pirate victory,
we’ll be punching our own ticket to state.

We were once again the home team on the scoreboard,
And in the first inning we exploded for four.
After five innings we were ahead by a score of five to two,
With just six more outs, we could close the door.

Our defense had been playing pretty well throughout,
if only we could put them away for good.
But the Pirates amassed 3 errors in the 6th inning.
Plays we usually make, didn’t work out as they should.

Pop ups that probably should have been hauled in,
seemed to drop safely into play.
The basics that we’ve done incredibly well all year,
just weren’t going our way.

We ended up surrendering five runs that inning,
during this season, we haven’t coughed up that much.
But the Pirates didn’t give up after the defensive lapse,
offensively, we still felt we had the touch.

We had two straight singles in the bottom of the sixth,
but they nailed the lead runner as we tried to move them around.
A final fly out to the Belmont right fielder
And our facial expressions turned into a frown.

We came up a couple of runs short in this game,
as our dream season had finally come to an end.
But the pride we all felt during our incredible run,
will be hard to dismiss or defend.

We are all excited at the possibilities
that may be around softball in the years to come.
A couple of holes to fill due to graduation,
and we hope to be ready for another tournament run.

But right now we’ll celebrate the seasons’ accomplishments,
with these young ladies that we have with us today.
We hope their incredible efforts won’t soon be forgotten,
It’s about what they did for our school and how we all played.

We’ll certainly miss these senior athletes,
as each will go out and forge a life all their own.
And the softball memories each has created,
their seeds of leadership have forever been sown.

I know this year’s story gets a little bit wordy
And as I bring it to it‘s eventual end.
When you look back on the season of 2009, just remember,
We ARE the Dairyland and Regional champions my friend!