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Madison VanDonsel delivers to the plate during the team’s 26-8 loss against Zimmerman on April 15 on the Wolves’ home field. 

So far this season, the Milaca softball team has struggled to limit opposing offensives.

That trend held true as Zimmerman was able to score early and often on the way to a 26-8 five-inning victory over the Wolves on April 15 in Milaca.

Milaca Head Coach Cory Ploeger knows the team must get better in the circle and in the field in order to turn around the lopsided scores. “It’s been tough all year. Our pitching and defense too. We’ve been having to get four or five extra outs every innings and then our pitchers have to throw more. That’s what we have to improve on, our defense and our pitching,” he said.

Starting off the contest, Zimmerman was able to quickly jump on the Wolves’ starting pitcher, Madison VanDonsel for six runs in the top half of the first inning.

Milaca’s offense would respond with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to four runs, but the Thunder’s offense kept accumulating runs as they added another six in the top of the second inning bringing the score to 12-2.

After going quietly in the bottom of the second, Milaca was able to hold Zimmerman scoreless while scoring three runs of its own to bring the game to 12-5 heading to the top of the fourth.

Zimmerman’s bats would once again get hot putting up eight runs in the frame to reach 20 runs on the day while coasting to the 18 run victory.

Maggie Westling led Milaca at the plate as the freshman had three runs batted in while Paige Maurer finished with two hits in the loss.

In the circle for the Wolves, VanDonel finished her day with two innings pitched, while giving up 12 runs with only five of those being earned runs. In relief, Ashley Droogsma finished the game pitching three innings, giving up 14 runs but having only eight be earned runs.

The loss drops Milaca to 0-2 in the young season.

Sitting as 0-2, Ploeger is happy with the offense so far this season but knows the pitching and defense are key to getting into the win column.

Heading into the team’s next few contest, Ploeger has a simple goal for Milaca. “We need to give up less walks and have more consistency and when they do put the ball in play, we have to make plays and get outs,” he said.

The Wolves got their chance to demonstrate that April 20 as they traveled to Pierz, hoping to pick up their first win of the season.

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