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Kundert, Tran come up clutch in the seventh
Monroe opens RVC-Valley play with a 6-3 win
Kate Kundert
Monroe’s Kate Kundert delivered a one-out 2 RBI double in the top of the seventh to give her team a 5-3 lead over Whitewater. The Cheesemakers scored one more in the seventh to defeat the Whippets 6-3 in their first conference game. - photo by Natalie Dillon

WHITEWATER — Tied 3-3 going into the top of the seventh, Monroe had just three outs to take a lead or hope for extra innings. With runners on first and second, senior Kate Kundert lined a 2-RBI double in the right-center gap. Emma Tran then followed through with a chopper to score another run, eventually leading to a 6-3 win for Monroe over Whitewater in a Rock Valley-Valley Conference game on Wednesday, April 17.

“The two-out hits were big. We just found a way,” Monroe head coach Joe O’Leksy said. “We put people on base, it was just always with one or two outs. Somebody always came through. Kate and (Emma) Tran came through with big hits.”

In fact, that’s how Monroe scored in the top of the first. With two outs, Olivia Feller kept the inning alive with a liner to left. Brinley Roidt then drew a 3-2 walk, pushing Feller into scoring position. Five-hole hitter Sophie Golembiewski then delivered an RBI single to center.

The Cheesemakers quickly gave up their lead, as Sydney Schilt scored on a two-out wild pitch.

Monroe didn’t score again until the top of the fourth, where Tran sparked the inning with a one-out single to right. Alexis Herbst attempted to move designated player Paizley Kundert into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but she popped up to the first baseman. 

With two outs, leadoff hitter Kaegann Paulson launched an RBI double to center. Whitewater’s centerfielder lost the ball in the wind, letting it drop behind her. Two-hole hitter Katrina Sathoff swung at a high pitch for strike three, but the Whippet catcher couldn’t hang on. Sathoff reached base and Paulson took third. Feller then brough Paulson home with a single to left for a 3-1 lead.

Whitewater scored one in the bottom of the frame. Taiya Kolb walked on four pitches, and the Whippets tallied back-to-back hits with two strike-counts. Paulson then walked a run in after getting ahead in the count 1-2.

Emma Tran
Emma Tran reached base in the top of the seventh, allowing a run to score. She attempted extend her team’s lead to 7-3 but was tagged out at home. - photo by Natalie Dillon

“We aren’t going for a three-pitch strikeout,” catcher Kundert said when her counterpart Paulson gets up in the count. “We are trying to make them go for the ball she throws. Kaegann has great movement, and we want them to chase after that. Tonight, they weren’t doing that as much.”

The Whippets knotted the game at three in the bottom of the fifth on singles from Schilt and Mariana Kubicz.

Neither team scored in the sixth, setting up a dramatic seventh inning. Roidt, who was hitless in her two previous at bats, lined a leadoff single up the middle. Golembiewski then beat out a slow roller to the shortstop, putting runners on first and second with no one out. That brought up Kundert.

“I had been hitting the ball pretty well lately, so I knew I was capable,” Kundert said. “Before I got in the box, I told myself to send one out there.”

She delivered, one-hopping the fence in right center field. After a bloop out behind third base from Chesney Slotten, Tran beat out a chopper to the third baseman for the sixth run.

After Whitewater’s leadoff batter reached on an error in the bottom of the seventh, Paulson sat down the next three batters in order to seal the win.

“This is our first win on our side of the conference. It’s also another team that is in our section,” O’Leksy said. “All we keep trying to do is put people below us.”

Paulson, Feller and Golembiewski tallied two hits each, providing consistency in the lineup. Kundert was 1-for-2 with what proved to be the game-winning RBIs. She also drew two walks. In the circle, Paulson picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on six hits. She struck out four and walked four.


EDGERTON — Tran was a force to be reckoned with during a RVC crossover game on Monday, April 15. The designated hitter was 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.

Paulson and Sathoff also tallied two hits each. In the circle, Paulson gave up just one earned run on four hits. She struck out three and walked four.