Tatum Morris serves up a pitch to catcher Kyli Updike as the two warmed up before the start of the inning on a cold day with snow banks surrounding the field.
Tatum Morris serves up a pitch to catcher Kyli Updike as the two warmed up before the start of the inning on a cold day with snow banks surrounding the field.
The cold temperatures and biting wind couldn’t stop the Lakeland softball team from winning 12-10 a road game in Phillips on April 4. 

Starting for the Thunderbirds was Tatum Morris. It was her second start of the season. Lakeland took the lead in the top of the first and made it 1-0 after one inning.

Things got dicey in the bottom of the second when Phillips scored a couple runs. A missed opportunity on a foul pop that wasn’t caught ended with runners on second and third. Another error made it 1-1, before a run batted in (RBI) double made it 2-1 Phillips after two.

The Vikings came back in the top of the third with a bomb to center by Naomi Hamerla. It was her second home run in as many games and put the Thunderbirds back up 3-2.

An RBI single in the top of the fourth by Britta Salquist put them up 4-3. But the Thunderbirds left runners on when Morris left the bases loaded. 

“We’ve got a good team, they’re solid,” coach Jason Morris said. “They just really fought hard tonight and when they needed to be aggressive, they were aggressive.”

The bottom of the fourth was a crazy one. Phillips started it off with an RBI double to tie the game at four a piece. Another RBI single made the score 5-4 Phillips. But they weren’t done yet.

After another walk starting pitcher Morris was out of the game, and it was time for Jenna Seidl to stop the bleeding. After a couple of stolen bases, a little dribbler up the middle couldn’t be handled by Seidl making the score 6-4 Phillips.

Phillips was just running. They took advantage of stolen bases, pitching mistakes and mental errors all night. Eventually Phillips ended the inning up 8-4.

Lakeland wasn’t going to quit. They came back with a solid inning of their own. An RBI double by Caitlin Hartigan scored Hamerla to make it 8-5 Phillips. An RBI single up the middle by Ally Pairolero made it 8-6.

A wild pitch advanced Pairolero to second and an error by Phillips eventually made it 8-7 by the end of the inning. An unfortunate line out double play ended the inning.

The bottom fo the fifth was where Seidl would settle in. She struck out two and stranded the bases loaded.

“We needed that, (Seidl) really worked hard, put herself in a couple of tough spots and she worked her way right back out of it,” Morris said.

The top of the sixth gave Lakeland more runs. Emma Salquist started it off with a walk. Then, a sacrifice fly by Hamerla tied it up 8-8. The Thunderbirds took advantage of more errors and made it 9-8 after a hit by Hartigan.

A one-two-three inning by Seidl took Lakeland to the final inning with a 10-8 lead. With the bases loaded, Hartigan served up a two-out, two-run single that gave Lakeland a 12-8 lead. With snow lightly falling now, it was time to close out the game.

Seidl struck out the first batter she saw, but gave up three walks in the inning. Two wild pitches took Phillips within two and made it 12-10. They had scored two runs without even getting a hit.

The Thunderbirds would close out the game with groundout and win 12-10. They hung on and it gave them their first win of the young season. 

“The girls just keep fighting,” Morris said. “They just kept fighting and they knew they could do it.”

No matter the weather, this Lakeland softball team is ready to fight and will give everything they have to every game this season. Their next game is at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 at Mosinee.

Brett LaBore may be reached at brett@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.