MADISON — If lead-off batters are supposed to ignite an offense, well, then Jenna Smarzinski did exactly that Friday night.
The junior third baseman opened a Division 1 state softball semifinal against Germantown with a triple and it led to a seven-run inning. Smarzinski wasn’t done, as before the inning ended she added another triple.
It all led to a resounding 15-0, five-inning win over the Warhawks at Goodman Diamond, sending the Papermakers to Saturday’s state title game.
In addition to Smarzinski’s triples, she also had a home run and a single, as she totaled 11 bases. She also drove in three runs and scored three times.
Not to be lost in the offensive eruption was junior pitcher Megan Kleist, who tossed a no-hitter, striking out nine and walking two. Batting behind Smarzinski, Kleist also had two hits and three RBIs.
The Papermakers (26-3), which last won a state title in 2007, face defending state champion Westosha Central, which beat Hortonville, 4-1, in the other semifinal game.
Hortonville and Central were tied 1-all entering the fifth inning, but then the Falcons scored three times on home runs, a two-run blast and a solo shot
Hortonville, which won the Bay Conference, ended its season at 23-5. Next season Hortonville will move to the Fox Valley Association.