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Bella Matthias, Greenfield claim softball regional championship

Hawks earn ticket to this week's sectional

June 3, 2014

A dominant pitcher like Greenfield sophomore Bella Matthias can enable a softball team to go a long way.

Matthias helped the Hustlin' Hawks capture a WIAA Division 1 regional championship by hurling a two-hitter and striking out 14 in a 2-0 triumph over Kenosha Tremper on May 29 at Konkel Park.

The 14 strikeouts boosted her season total to an astounding 341 to go with only 34 walks. She has posted 12 shutouts and an earned-run average of 1.25.

"She keeps us in the games," Greenfield head coach Jack Miller said.

Largely because of Matthias' dominance on the mound, the Hustlin' Hawks came into this week at 20-8 despite an inconsistent offense and a sometimes shaky defense.

Greenfield met top seed Racine Case (19-3) in a sectional semifinal contest on June 3. If the Hawks were able to pull out that game, they would take on either Kenosha Bradford (17-8) or South Milwaukee (20-3) at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, at Bradford in a sectional title game.

In the regional title match last week, Matthias blanked Tremper for seven innings, allowing just two hits to Bridget Nelson.

The Hawks, though, struggled against Tremper starter Emilee Nelson, managing only three hits themselves.

The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the sixth. Lexi Vilkoski walked and Sara Kassel bunted her over and reached herself on a throwing error to put runners on second and third with no outs.

Kayla Culbertson also walked to load the bases and after a strikeout, Samantha Weber belted a pitch off the left-centerfield fence to score both runs.

"She really hit that one," Miller said. "She almost had a grand slam there."

That was enough for Matthias, who closed out the Trojans in the seventh inning for the victory.

Greenfield advanced with an easy 13-0 romp over Bay View on May 28, rapping out 17 hits and scoring 10 runs in the first inning.

Matthias went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in, while Kassel was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Vilkoski 3-for-3 as well. Nicollette Curtis, Culbertson, Hannah Rios, Jessica Cheske, Alisia Newport, Weber and Maria Montemayor each drove in runs.

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