EagleHerald/Billy Betts Kailey Klimek of Coleman eyes up a pitch against Manawa during their regional game on Tuesday.
EagleHerald/Billy Betts Kailey Klimek of Coleman eyes up a pitch against Manawa during their regional game on Tuesday.

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COLEMAN — Anything can happen come tournament time and Coleman found that out in its WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal softball game against Manawa on Tuesday.

Facing the No. 8-seeded Wolves, Coleman, who came in as the No. 1 seed, had to play its best softball in order to advance. Behind clutch hitting and excellent defense, the Cougars finished on top 5-0.

“This wasn’t what I expected from the 8 seed,” Coleman coach Jean Levash said. “They hit the ball hard and were tough from the start against us.”

The Wolves came out swinging in the first inning as four of their first five batters had base hits. The Cougars though, made stops when they needed and held them scoreless.

Ready to take the lead early, Coleman scored a run in the bottom of the first when Lauren Osterberg reached base on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second and third on an error in center and scored on a wild pitch.

Coleman built a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Maddy Hoida beat out an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Cameron Compe. Compe got to second on an overthrow to first and eventually scored on a single to left by Mackenzie Champagne.

The Cougars added key insurance runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Mikey Zeitler doubled and scored when Hoida tomahawked a single to left in the fourth. Zeitler crossed home again in the sixth on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 5-0.

Manawa, which won the Central Wisconsin North Conference with a 9-1 record, had runners in scoring position almost every inning before Compe clamped down on the mound to get key outs.

“We came out ready to hit the ball. We’re a young team that only returned two starters from last year, but this group is hungry,” Manawa coach Austin Rohan said. “I give Coleman a ton of credit. They play great defense and they’re a really solid team. I’m just proud of how our girls fought.”

Compe earned the mound win for Coleman (15-3), tossing seven shut-out innings while scattering seven hits and finishing with seven strikeouts. She threw 92 pitches, 68 of which were strikes.

Sydney Lee took the loss for the Wolves, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits with three strikeouts.

“I thought Cameron pitched very well today, especially when she got in some jams,” Levash said. “They can hit the ball and we really didn’t expect that. We beat a good team.”

Coleman advances to play host to No. 4 seed Shiocton on Thursday for the regional finals.

WP — Cameron Compe 7IP, 0R, 6H, 7K, 0W

LP — Sydney Lee 5 2/3IP, 5R, 3ER, 5H, 3K, 1W

Leading hitters (Coleman): Maddy Hoida 2x3; Mikey Zeitler 1x2, 2B; Compe & Mackenzie Champagne 1x3

Manawa 000 000 0 — 0

Coleman 102 101 x — 5