Oshkosh North battles, ends season with perfect record and state title

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Oshkosh North won the Division 1 state title Saturday, beating Sun Prairie 4-2 in nine innings at Goodman Softball Complex. (WLUK)

MADISON (WLUK) -- All that stood between Oshkosh North and a perfect season and its first state title on Saturday night was Sun Prairie and as it turned out that was a mighty big hurdle.

However, the Spartans rallied to force extra innings and in the ninth inning scored two runs to grab their first lead of the game. That was plenty for ace Sydney Supple as North completed its season in style, winning the program's first state title with a 4-2 win over the Cardinals at Goodman Soccer Complex.

"There was never a doubt in our mind that we would lose this game," catcher Sophie Averkamp said. "We stuck with it, we stayed in the game and just grinded out those last hits and really pulled through."

"They fought all day and I kept telling them I'm going to fight with them on every single pitch and they were fighting with me too," Supple said. "There was never a doubt in our minds, we just knew we had to give it everything we had and we left it all on the field today."

Game stats

Supple, the Northwestern recruit, threw two shutouts in the state quarterfinals and semifinals , but No-2 seeded Sun Prairie (27-4) ended thoughts of a shutout by grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

No. 1 North (31-0) tied the game at 1-all in the top of the third but the Cardinals took back the lead on an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.

As the game progressed it felt like maybe North's quest for a state title could be turned away but a Supple single scored Mathena Higgins to tie the game at 2-all in the fifth. From there, as it turned out, it was just a matter of time.

Supple didn't allow any more damage although Sun Prairie twice had runners reach third base. Supple, however, was clutch when she had to be as she struck out 11, giving her 36 at the state tournament.

Then in the ninth North plated two runs. Supple hit a fly ball to shallow center field that was dropped, scoring Higgins and then Averkamp laced a single to score Brooke Ellestad.

'"This game was definitely tough and they are a fantastic team," third baseman Libby Neveau said. "We definitely had to dig deep on multiple occasions throughout the game to pull out our hits, to pull out our plays and just really fall back on each other and be strong together."

After the Neveau fielded a grounder and threw to Brie Gauthier at first base to record the final out of the game, North celebrated an accomplishment that was long in the making. This was the senior class' third trip to state and after losing in regional action to Fond du Lac last season, a state title was all this group wanted.

It took a while Saturday, but North is OK with that as it won the state title

"I would put anyone of these girls on my team was a fantastic team over any other player in Wisconsin, no doubt," Averkamp said. ""We are such a close family. We have built a family community around this program and it's just incredible to share this moment with these girls."

"This has been our dream, this has been what we've worked for and we just stressed it in the process that after each season we'd come back stronger," Supple said. "Since we stepped foot on our freshman year this has been the goal. Just to see it come day leaves me speechless and leaves me proud."

"It's incredible," Neveau said. "I couldn't even imagine anything like this. Just to play my last high school game on here with my best friends is incredible.

"We worked so hard. Since a young age we had this dream and to finally accomplish it, especially senior year is special."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay