The Northland Pines softball team lost a pair of Great Northern Conference (GNC) games to Antigo last week 10-2 and 11-0.

The Eagles had five hits and allowed four earned runs.

“The score doesn’t necessarily reflect it, but we played pretty well against a very good Antigo team. The errors we did make hurt us bad,” said Pines coach Jacob Schueller. “It seems to be a trend this season; every time we make mistakes they’re happening at key points in games.”

Starting pitcher Taylor Olivotti allowed just four earned runs in game one on 11 hits. She struck out three Antigo batters.

“She’s been awesome, but we need to match that level of play behind her. If we did in this game, we could’ve come out on top,” said Schueller.

Lucy Lurvey hit her second home run of the season in game one.

“We’re working on being more consistent with her swing and I’m hoping that comes to fruition this week,” said Schueller. “I think she’ll go on a terror here just in time for playoffs. We are striking out less lately, which is a big step in the right direction. However, we’re not making good contact consistently. I’m hoping we take that step sooner rather than later.”

In addition to Lurvey’s big hit, the Eagles also got hits from Grace Wittkopf, Heath­er Wyatt, Halle Kerner and Paige Richie.

“We’ve been leaving a lot of runners left on base; nine in this game. We’re not getting those big hits that a team needs in order to stay in and win games against good teams,” said Schueller. 

“I think this is the first time in a long time that Antigo didn’t mercy rule us. We continue to move in the right direction,” said Schueller. “I just wish we could take some bigger leaps instead of the baby steps we’ve been taking. If we can clean up a little defensively and get some big hits in key moments, we’ll be the type of team that can steal a game from Antigo- type teams and make a run in the playoffs.”

In game two, Olivotti pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs on 11 hits. She had one strikeout. 

Pines only had one hit in the game, that coming from Richie. Pines batters struck out five times.

“Our strikeout numbers were OK this game, but to only muster one hit just doesn’t cut it,” said Schueller. “We’re having quality at-bats (45%), but haven’t quite got over the hump of turning them into offensive production.”

Pines, 2-8 in the GNC and 5-10 overall, was scheduled to play at Tomahawk in a doubleheader on Tuesday of this week starting at 4:30 p.m.

Then this Thursday, May 16, eighth-seeded Northland Pines will host ninth-seeded Gillett-Suring in a WIAA Division 3 Regional playoff game starting at 5 p.m. The winner will play top-seeded Nekoosa next Tuesday, May 21.