LAKE TOMAHAWK - The Snowhawks suffered their first loss of the season to the Chicago All-Stars on the Fourth of July and losing twice in a row doesn't happen often for Lake Tomahawk.
The Snowhawks hosted Dazzle's Demons of Rhinelander on Monday night, a team which has beaten them twice in a row, another feat that doesn't happen often.
Lake Tomahawk must have forgotten its lucky horseshoe, because lightning struck again as Dazzle's Demons defeated the Snowhawks for the third consecutive time and handed them a second straight loss on the season, 14-8.
The Demons jumped on the Snowhawks early, opening up with a 9-0 lead before the hosts could finally get on the board in the third inning.
"Those guys rapped the ball around pretty good and it didn't help that we had a few costly errors," Lake Tomahawk manager Jeff Smith said. "It seemed like once we got two outs, they got all their runs after that. We just could not get that third out. Once again, our bats were quiet. A few of us got a few hits, but there were some of us that didn't get many at all. It's kind of like a little slump we're going through. I don't know what's the problem, but Dazzle's made some good plays. They didn't miss a lot of balls and their team has played us before quite a few times, so they're getting used to this game. They came ready to play."
Dazzle's scored three in the top of the first and five in the second, taking that 9-0 lead before runs before Derek Young drove in Gunner Dunbar and Donny Moore in the third.
Lake Tomahawk found itself in a 14-2 hole in the fifth, but it managed to cut into the lead, thanks to a triple from Smith and a sacrifice from Moore. In the sixth, the Snowhawks got runs from Ryan Schowalter, Dustin Schowalter, Billy Kuckahn and Nick Merks to trim the lead to six.
"We strung a bunch together, finally," Smith said. "We didn't ground out to anybody to force the double play. We actually strung a couple hits together and that made all the difference. We just couldn't do that consistently. We were missing a few people and we plugged a hole here and there, but we can't offer any excuses. We just didn't do it. We didn't get the hits that we needed, consistently anyway."
Dazzle's was limited offensively by the Lake Tomahawk defense throughout the remainder of the game, but the offense couldn't find a way to produce to complete the comeback bid.
Losing to a team three times in a row is incredibly rare for the Snowhawks, but they won't have much time to dwell on it as they must bounce back on Monday against WPS Local 420.
"This happened to us last year, but we bounced back and we will (again)," Smith said. "We'll come back. We have to be ready for the Coaching All-Stars, in two weeks. They put together a nice team, too. We've got to get out of our slump against WPS Local. We'll be all right."
The Snowhawks host WPS Local 420 at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.
Nick Sabato may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @SabatoNick.