If Monday afternoon was any indication of the next four years, the Bloomer Blackhawks should be in good hands.
Freshman Calley Olson had Eau Claire North batters baffled all afternoon, striking out 11 en route to 7-0, complete game shutout.
“She had full command of three pitches,” Bloomer coach Keith Poirier said. “It was the first time of the year that her change-up actually worked. She was effective around the zone, her fastball she was spotting well and she’d throw in a riseball every once in a while.”
On a windy afternoon, her riseball was confounding. The gusting wind, coupled with her funky delivery that hides the ball from the batter, had the Huskies off balanced.
“I’m not really on the power line, my foot is kind far off of it,” Olson said of her delivery.
She allowed just two hits, both singles, and it wasn’t until the seventh inning, when Abby Mowl hit a fly ball to left field, that Olson allowed a ball out of the infield. Both Mowl and Taylor Wolter, who hit an infield single in the second inning, never reached second base.
“A lot of (her pitches) hit my glove right where I wanted them to,” catcher Annabelle Wittrock said. “She got them outside the plate where they’re swinging, got a few a little up and inside, and got the riseball going, so that was all good.”
Olson helped herself out in the first inning, opening the game with a lead-off walk. Two batters later, she scored on a two-run double from senior Rilee Luzinski.
The run would end up being the game-winning run for the Blackhawks, part of a three-run opening frame that proved more than enough.
“We have some good hitters at the top of our lineup,” Poirier said. “We were very good at answering back after the other team scored, but we hadn’t jumped on anybody really, so that was huge for us.”
It was a tough hole for the Huskies to find themselves in in their first game of the season. Junior Mackenzie Gilbert pitched well for North, but her defense struggled, making nine fielding errors.
“We have a lot of work to do,” North coach Tom Bernhardt said. “When you have nine errors that’s hard to overcome. A lot of extra bases and runs that were scored and outs that were given to a good softball team.”
The Blackhawks added another run in the second, when Ashley Poirier was cashed in by Kenadi Poirier, who hit a fly ball to right field that Sadie Seymour couldn’t corral.
Three innings later, Samantha Buckholtz scored on a passed ball to give the Blackhawks a 5-0 lead. They added two more insurance runs in the seventh when Wittrock and Nicole Breu came around to score the final two runs.
The Huskies return to the diamond tomorrow as they head out to River Falls to take on the Wildcats at 5 p.m. Bloomer returns home where it will take on Thorp at 5 p.m.