New Prague softball gives up four in the fifth, lose 5-0 to Northfield in regular season finale 16 May 12

Those that chose to head out this weekend to the lake for the fishing opener, today, might be talking about “the one that got away.” New Prague softball has made that phrase an unwelcome team motto this season. Fishermen might be referring to a northern or walleye, the Trojans…one specific inning in the field.

This time it was a four run bottom of the fifth that allowed Northfield to extend their 1-0 lead to 5-0.

It would also end up being the final.

The Raiders top the Trojans on senior night at Northfield High School and in the season finale for both teams.

New Prague has lost 11 games this season. In seven of those losses they’ve surrendered at least four runs in a single inning after the fourth.

“Gotta kind of believe in your teammates to get the out,” says Trojan shortstop Megan Bissel, “Want to get the outs, that’s the biggest thing.”

Lizzy Lloyd started the scoring for Northfield in the fourth after what was a pitcher’s duel between Northfield’s senior starter Kaitlyn Bicek and New Prague senior Amber Hoffman. Lloyd reached with a one out single and advanced to second after a passed ball and then to third thanks to a throwing error on a ground ball to Ali Jo Hoffman. Lloyd then would score after Jackie Chlan grounded into a fielder’s choice.

New Prague’s bats would never come alive only being able to muster three hits off of Bicek. New Prague assistant coach Kurt Seuer says she’s been throwing well lately.

“It was a much different atmosphere then when they came to New Prague, they seemed to be a lot more focused. She had it going on today.”

Amber Hoffman pitched a one-hit shutout against the Raiders back on April 23rd. Tuesday night she gave up five runs on five hits. Only two of the runs were earned.

The bottom of the fifth began with Hoffman throwing back-to-back strikeouts, unfortunately both batters reached on passed ball third strikes. With runners on first and second Bicek came to the plate to help her cause and connected on a line drive two run triple the one hopped the fence. She would come around to score on another fielding error committed by the New Prague infield that put Emily Torbenson on base. Emily would advance into scoring position on a pair of passed balls then cross the plate on an RBI single off the bat of Marla Thomforde.

First day of the section playoffs are Thursday, May 24. New Prague will have six days of practice from Wednesday until then. Time that will be used to try developing consistency at the plate and in the field.

“Little errors, little things like that. Probably miscommunication that we had for the pop-ups. Be mentally ready for Thursday,” Bissel explains.

Notes: Going into Tuesday NP Pitcher Amber Hoffman had given up 68 runs (36 ER), New Prague is 0-6 this season in games with less than 5 hits (3 hits vs Northfield 5/15, Tuma, Bissel, McFarland), New Prague lost to Chanhassen 3-1 last year in the first round of Section playoffs,