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Monroe takes fourth in weekend tournament
Times photo: Adam Krebs Monroes Chandra McGuire slides in safely in the first inning against Janesville JYBSA in Saturdays 4-0 win. Monroe took fourth place in its own tournament.
MONROE - The Cheesemakers hosted seven other teams in its annual 14-year-old girls softball tournament over the weekend.

"I thought the tournament had some excellent competition," Monroe coach Joe O'Lesky said. "There were a lot of teams here that travel to a lot of tournaments, and there was still a waiting list to get in here. It was a high-quality tournament with some very good teams and a lot of close scores."

Monroe finished the tournament 4-2 and took fourth place, losing the last two games it played in the two-day tournament.

"We were very happy to take fourth," O'Lesky said. "The team that won it (Southwest Wisconsin Storm) is a very good team and went undefeated."

On Saturday, Monroe led off the tournament with a 4-0 win over Janesville JYBSA. Monroe went on to beat Waunakee 12-3 in the second game, and ended the first day with an 11-0 win over the Rock County All-Saints Force.

Sunday, the tables turned. Monroe earned its way into the semifinals, only to lose to the CPC Fire out of Chadwick, Ill., 3-1.

"All-in-all it was a good team effort on our part this weekend," O'Lesky said.

In the third place game against Waukesha, Monroe struck early as leadoff hitter Chandra McGuire scored on Elli Grossen's sacrifice fly in the first. In the second, Hanna Buol's single brought in Amanda Putz, who was running for pitcher Becca Armstrong.

Waukesha scored in the top of the fourth after a triple and a single. In the bottom half of the six-inning game, Monroe batted around its order, scoring four runs. Kayla Updike scored on a single by Buol, then Grossen hit a three-run triple to right with two outs to make the score 6-1.

On the mound, Armstrong lost a bit of control, but the defense failed to make plays, totaling three errors in the top of the fourth as Waukesha scored four runs while sending 10 batters the plate. In the final inning, Monroe coughed up the lead after another slew of errors.

After retiring the first two hitters, Armstrong allowed a roping double to left center and then walked a batter. An error by the shortstop loaded the bases and back to back singles brought in three runs. The potential fourth run was thrown out at the plate by Monroe's centerfielder.

Monroe went 1-2-3 in the sixth to end the game.

"Just like at the high school level, our girls are growing older. They are going to learn that getting those final outs takes lots of pressure. They're growing a lot," O'Lesky said.

O'Lesky said that his entire team played a great tournament, especially Armstrong.

"Becca Armstrong had probably the best weekend she's ever had. She had more strikeouts than walks, kept batters off balance and threw a complete-game shutout," O'Lesky said.

Monroe currently holds a record of 16-7 and won the South Central Girls Softball League-South Division championship over Barneveld. They will play for the league title against North winner Baraboo on July 28.