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MEDFORD SOFTBALL - Hraby nearly nohits two GNC softball rivals

Hraby nearly nohits  two GNC softball rivals
Rylee Hraby fires a fastball early in Medford’s 7-1 home win over Lakeland Monday afternoon. The sophomore one-hit the TBirds and followed that up Tuesday with a five-inning no-hitter at Northland Pines. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS
Hraby nearly nohits  two GNC softball rivals
Rylee Hraby fires a fastball early in Medford’s 7-1 home win over Lakeland Monday afternoon. The sophomore one-hit the TBirds and followed that up Tuesday with a five-inning no-hitter at Northland Pines. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS


Rylee Hraby has a long prep softball career ahead of her as just a sophomore, but it’s possible she might not have a better 24 hours than she had early this week.

One day after authoring a one-hit win over Lakeland, Medford’s pitching ace came one out away from a five-inning perfect game Tuesday in a 13-0 win at Northland Pines. A one-out walk in the bottom of the fifth spoiled that, but she still walked away with a no-hitter as Medford improved to 3-1 in GNC play and 6-5 overall.

Hraby struck out seven Eagles and got some solid defense behind her, most notably, according to head coach Virgil Berndt, a nice play by her twin sister Laney on a ground ball hit by Aliyana Lopez to start the fifth. Third baseman Chelsea Gebauer also made a nice play in the fourth, tracking down a sky-high pop-up the wind got a hold of for the second out in the fourth.

Not only did Hraby dominate in the circle, but she went six for eight in the two games out of Medford’s leadoff spot, including a four-for-four performance Tuesday that included three triples and a double. She drove in three runs and scored three runs.

She led off Tuesday’s game with a triple and scored on Finley Arndt’s double in Medford’s two-run first inning. A two-out error on a ball hit by Jada Surek and a walk to Ruthie Steinman gave Medford a chance to score in the second and the Raiders took advantage, getting a double from Hraby to make it 4-0.

An eight-run third inning put the Eagles (0-4, 2-7) in a hole they had no chance of digging out of. Hraby tripled in that inning and Zayleah Leonhardt hit two doubles, both of which drove in runs. She had four runs batted in. Hraby tripled and scored Medford’s last run on an error in the fifth.

Arndt, Tori Koniecnzy and Leonhardt all went two for four as those top four hitters in the order accounted for 10 of Medford’s 11 hits off Pines’ Aubrey Beyer, who struck out six and walked only two.

The Raiders head to Rhinelander today, Thursday, before hosting the undefeated Mosinee Indians on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Medford goes to Lakeland on April 25.

Medford 7, Lakeland 1

Saylor Timmerman is generally viewed as the Great Northern Conference’s most talented pitcher this spring, but Hraby outpitched the Lakeland junior Monday in Medford’s 7-1 home win, which broke the Raiders’ mini three-game losing streak.

Hraby was one pitch away from a nohitter, hanging a change-up that Lakeland catcher and number-seven hitter Lani Frisch hit out of the ball park with two outs in the top of the fifth. Hraby struck out 10 and issued four walks, with three of those going to Timmerman. Two were intentional and the Raiders pitched carefully on Timmerman’s third at-bat.

“I think it was pretty good,” Hraby said of her outing. “I thought at first I was pounding the strike zone pretty good. It got a little bit out of control later, but I was just focused on hitting the strike zone.”

Hraby said the game plan was to aggressively attack the lower part of Lakeland’s order, which Medford’s coaches felt Hraby could handle without too much trouble. The key was keeping the top of the order in check. Leadoff hitter Ali Timmerman was the only other T-Bird not to strike out at least once, but she was zero for three.

Offensively, the key to beating Lakeland since Timmerman arrived has been to get some runners on and put pressure on the rest of the T-Birds’ defense. The Raiders did that with a four-run rally in the bottom of the second that was basically the difference in the game.

Gebauer started the inning with a base hit and was bunted to second by Ava Hartl. Gebauer moved to third on a passed ball. Surek drew a one-out walk. Runner Laney Hraby stole second. Gebauer scored and Laney Hraby moved to third on another passed ball. Steinman walked, took second and both scored when Rylee Hraby smacked a double to the gap in left-center. She scored the fourth run on another passed ball after stealing third.

“I got up in the count pretty early so that was good and then I knew she was going to have to pitch me a strike because she had just walked the last couple of batters,” Rylee Hraby said. “I was looking to get something down the middle and I got it.

“We knew we had to have quick bats and fast swings,” she said about the team’s approach against Timmerman.

Surek reached on a dropped third strike to start the fourth and her runner, Addison Brahmer wound up scoring on yet another pitch that got to the backstop. Frisch made it 5-1 with her homer in the fifth.

“Yes, I really do,” Hraby said of wanting that pitch back. “I would like to have not pitched that one.”

Medford tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth, with both runs again scoring when Timmerman and Frisch were not in sync.

Timmerman struck out 11 Raiders and walked five. Hraby, Arndt, Gebauer and Leonhardt had one hit apiece.

0-2 at Shawano

Medford had success in getting runners on base, but getting them in didn’t go so well Saturday when the Raiders lost 8-2 to New London and 6-0 to host Shawano in a triangular event. New London beat Shawano 5-0 in the day’s third game.

In their second meeting of the season with New London, Leonhardt hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the seventh inning and Tori Konieczny singled in Laney Hraby in the fifth for the only run of what could’ve been a big rally. Those wound up being Medford’s only runs of the day despite getting 15 hits in this game.

Medford trailed 7-0 against the defending WIAA Division 2 state runner-up going into the fifth. Laney and Rylee Hraby singled as did Arndt to load the bases with no outs. Konieczny then hit her single. But New London’s Ellie Winkelman pitched out of the jam, getting a pop-up, a forceout at home and a groundout.

Medford loaded the bases again in the sixth working three singles around two outs. But a groundout ended that threat. After Leonhardt’s homer, the Raiders loaded the bases one more time in the seventh, but that potential rally died with a game-ending double play.

Medford left 13 runners on base in the loss.

The Bulldogs got a leadoff homer from Eve Hedtke in the bottom of the first, scored twice more in the second, once in the third and then broke it open with three more in the fourth, aided by a couple of errors.

Rylee Hraby took the loss, pitching the first three innings. Konieczny covered the last three innings.

Arndt was four for four, Kyanna Mallien had three hits and Rylee Hraby and Grace


Schmidtfranz had two hits each.

New London is off to an 8-0 start. Shawano got a well-pitched game from Abigail Bystol, who allowed four hits and got solid help from her defense in the 6-0 shutout.

Medford head coach Virgil Berndt said the Raiders hit some balls hard that hung up just long enough for Hawks’ outfielders to get to. Medford had multiple runners on base in just two innings, the fourth and the seventh.

Arndt, Kailyn Haenel, Hartl and Surek had a hit apiece for Medford. Rylee Hraby went the distance in the circle, allowing nine hits and five earned runs while striking out nine and walking three.

Antigo 6, Medford 3

On Thursday, Bethany Lewis limited Medford to five hits, Emma Beck hit a big three-run, third-inning homer and, after an error on its first play, the Antigo defense was mistake-free in the Red Robins’ 6-3 win in a key early-season GNC matchup.

Beck’s homer, which bounced off the top of the fence in right-center, gave Antigo a 4-1 lead and capped a four-run inning that changed the game. Medford came back with Leonhardt’s two-run triple to the rightfield corner in the bottom half, but the Raiders did little after that, save for Leonhardt’s leadoff double in the sixth.

Lewis wasn’t overpowering, notching just four strikeouts, but issued only one walk and the Robins made nearly every play it could behind her. The biggest of those came right away in the first inning. Arndt reached on Antigo’s only error and Rylee Hraby doubled to start the inning. Konieczny then lined what looked to be a gapper to right-center. But Beck, Antigo’s rightfielder made a lastditch lunge and caught it, limiting the play to just a sacrifice fly that scored Arndt. Lewis got Leonhardt to fly out and struck out Gebauer to keep it 1-0.

In the fourth, Antigo got one-out doubles from Lilly Washatko and Molly Neufeld. Washatko had to hold to see if Neufeld’s drive would be caught and only got to third. The Raiders had a chance to get out of that inning when Gebauer, playing third, caught Kailee Krueger’s bunt for the inning’s second out. But Washatko scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Tristin Arlen walked and Beck hit her three-run blast.

Lewis hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Antigo plated one more insurance run in the seventh when Medford botched a rundown following Arlen’s two-out single.

Hraby was two for two with a double and Leonhardt was two for three with her two extra-base hits to lead Medford’s offense. Arndt added a hit.

Hraby pitched all seven innings and allowed just five hits. She struck out six and walked four. Four of Antigo’s runs were earned.

Medford’s Tori Konieczny slides into home plate, scoring the second of two runs on Zayleah Leonhardt’s two-run triple Thursday against Antigo. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS