Bluejay girls tack Medford title onto trio of Valley wins

The Merrill girls won all six games last week to fuel a current 9-1 run, and capped it off with a walk through the Medford Invite on Saturday.
The Jays crushed Chequamegon 15-0 in the opener, rocked Marshfield 13-1 in the second round and took the title with a 6-2 triumph over Crandon.
“We took six of six this week and really got after it,” MHS coach Dave Brandvold said. “On a cold and sometimes rainy Saturday the Bluejays took apart their three opponents by out-scoring them 34-3 and banging out 38 hits. Defensively, the Jays made 36 defensive plays without an error and (Aly) Brandvold and (Megan) Pehlke totaled another 13 strike outs between them.
“When we played Chequamegon, the wind wasn’t gusting up and it was still dry but cool. The rest of the day the weather was pretty miserable. Our girls stayed mentally tough the entire day and really made the other teams give up. We also had a chance to play a lot of kids today and everyone contributed which makes it all the better.
“(Lindsay) Krueger and (Emily) Heckendorf ripped the cover off the ball several times and we had some timely hits by all of the girls. They are a great bunch of kids and the success they are having is attributed to their own focus and concentration. This group is as fun and talented a group of kids that I have ever coached, and I’ve had some outstanding athletes over my years in coaching.”
Merrill improved to 12-4 overall and 7-2 in the Valley with the week’s work, where they out-scored their opponents 72-15 and amassed 87 hits.
The Jays knocked out 14 hits in the first game, led by Krueger (4-4, 2B, 4 RBI), Heckendorf (3-4, HR, 2 RBI), Brandvold (2-4, HR, 3 RBI), Kaylin Byer (1-1, 3 R, 2 RBI), Brianna LaMonica (2B) and Katie Travis (2B). A 5-run 2nd and 6-run 6th powered the victory. Brandvold (2 H, 1 W, 5 K, 0 R in 6 I) picked up the win.
Against Marshfield, MHS upped it to 17 hits, paced by Chelsey Dorgan (3-4 2-2B, 3 R, 2 RBI), Heckendorf (3-4, 3 R), Courtney Anderson (3-4, 3 RBI), Brandvold (2-3), Kelsey Messerschmidt (HR), Krueger (2B, 2 RBI), LaMonica (2B), Hannah Ollhoff (2 RBI). Brandvold (6 H, 2 W, 2 K, 1 R in 5I) also won this game.
Merrill cooled to 7 hits against Crandon-one apiece for 7 batters-but Pehlke’s one-hitter (3 W, 5 K in 5 I) held the Cardinals to two runs. Byer doubled.
Rapids routed
Merrill grabbed a 6-2 lead by the second inning of Friday’s game with trios of runs, then pushed it to 9-2 by the fifth. The Raiders trailed 11-2 when they scored 3 in the bottom of the 7th.
The Jays out-slugged Rapids 21-7 in the contest.
“Twenty-one hits is something you just don’t count on going into any game,” Brandvold said. “The girls are really getting their hands around quickly. We still really have to concentrate on defense because we know we not always score that many runs or have double digit hits.
“The top six in our order went 18-for-28 with 6 doubles and a home run. That puts immense pressure on the opposing pitcher because she can’t pitch around any of our hitters.”
The Bluejays are rocking the WVC, including Lamonica (.559), Dorgan (.556), Heckendorf (.500), Brandvold (.423), Byer (.414), Krueger (.387) and Ollhoff (.318).
In this game, LaMonica (5-5, 4 R), Dorgan (4-5, HR, 4 RBI), Krueger (3-5, 2-2B), Heckendorf (2-4, 2 RBI), Brandvold (2-4, 2B), Byer (2-5, 2-2B, 3 RBI) and Messerschmidt (2B) put up the numbers.
Get out the brooms
The Bluejays pulled a double-header sweep of Wausau West on Tuesday, following a 10-0 rout with an 11-7 win.
“We really played well and may have had our best game of the year in all three phases of the game,” Brandvold said of the opener. “In game two, Wausau erased a 9-2 lead and came back with five in the 6th. We were fortunate to have a lead to play with. They kept coming back but our girls battled too and withstood the run they made on us.”
A 5-run 4th backed up 2-run innings in the 2nd and 5th for the opening triumph. The Jays closed it out in the 6th with LaMonica’s lead-off triple-the 7th MHS extra-base hit-and a one-out safety squeeze bunt by Byer.
Dorgan (3-3, 3B, 2B, 3 R), LaMonica (3-4, 3B), Messerschmidt (2-3, 2-2B, 3 RBI), Anderson (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI), Heckendorf (2-3, 2B) and Byer (1-2, 2 RBI) led the way. Brandvold (2 H, 0 R in 6 I) pitched the win.
Merrill built its 9-2 lead with 6 in the first two innings and another 3 in the 4th. But West got back in it with 5 in the 6th, aided by two seeing-eye singles and solid hits. Brandvold and Emily Klade hits in the 7th provided insurance when coupled with a throwing error and LaMonica RBI single.
LaMonica (4-5, 3 R, 3B, 2 RBI), Krueger (3-4, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI), Heckendorf (3-4, 2B, 3 RBI), Brandvold (2-3) and Dorgan (2B) pushed the scoring. Pehlke (15 H, 3 W, 2 K, 7 R in 7 I) received the win.

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