Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Badger batters Bay
Local teams wear pink to fight cancer

by Mike Ramczyk

May 17, 2012

Badger senior Stephanie Parks allowed only two hits, struck out eight and walked one Monday against the Bay.
Williams Bay's Sam Storms winds up to fire a pitch Monday night.
What more could a softball fan ask for?

Two local teams battling it out on the field. Sunny skies with warm temperatures. And the proceeds from the game going toward a good cause.

Though rivals by proximity, the Williams Bay and Badger softball teams were not on the same level Monday night in a Coaches vs. Cancer game at Badger.

Badger senior ace pitcher Stephanie Parks worked wonders on the mound. She allowed only two hits over seven innings and helped the Badgers blow out the Bay, 9-0, in nonconference action.

Badger improved to 5-12 overall, while the Bay dropped to 9-5.

"The Badger bats continue to produce, the pitching was excellent and the defense very good," Badger coach Glen York said. "We continue to improve against top competition. We are gaining confidence and hope to build as we approach the tournament."

Perhaps more important than the action on the field was the game's cause. Badger players wore pink Coaches vs. Cancer T-shirts that said "Pitch for a Cure," and the Lady Bulldogs wore pink hair ribbons and pink wristbands. Spectators could donate money, and all proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. Badger will do a "hit-a-thon" in a practice this week, which will help donate more money to the ACS.

The game was deadlocked at 0-0 until the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded, Bay pitcher Sam Storms bobbled Tara Baker's ground ball, giving Badger a 1-0 lead. Storms got out of the jam with no further damage.

In the top of the fifth, Parks continued Badger's momentum by striking out the side.

Badger's Frankie Bobula led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple and scored to make it 2-0 Badger. Then, Jamie Robinson provided the big blow, a two-run single that made it 4-0. Baker's sacrifice fly later in the inning scored Kayla Cooper, making it a 5-0 Badger advantage.

After Parks retired the side in order in the top of the sixth, Badger kept pouring it on in the bottom half. Cooper knocked a two-run single, and Riely Mikrut and Robinson each added RBI base hits to make it 9-0.

Parks struck out eight and walked only one.

Badger pounded out 11 hits for the game, led by three each from Robinson and Cooper. Bobula and Riely Mikrut also added two hits apiece.

Bay coach Jeff Kuespert said he has no problem falling to Badger, a Division 1 school roughly seven times bigger than the Bay.

"Badger can hit," he said. "Storms was getting behind in the count. Badger started hitting the ball. They see top-notch pitching just about every game. Games against big schools help our kids. I'd rather lose to a D1 school than crush a small school."

This Thursday, Badger returns home to face Wilmot, which is currently ranked No. 6 in Division 1. The Bay travels to division-leading Deerfield Thursday.

Badger falls to Brodhead, Westosha Central

On Friday, the Badger fell to visiting Brodhead in nonconference action, 11-6.

Brodhead jumped out to a 6-3 lead before Badger cut it to 6-5 in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Riely Mikrut connected on a two-run single.

However, the Cardinals pulled away with a five-run sixth. In the bottom of the seventh, Badger rallied to score one run, but Rebecca Gritzuk flew out with the bases loaded to end the game.

"We continue to hit well, but we need to cut out key errors at critical times," York said.

Last Thursday at home, the Lady Badgers fell in a doubleheader to Westosha Central, 5-0 and 7-6.

Central, currently the seventh-ranked team in the state in Division 1, scored the winning two runs off a Badger error in the bottom of the seventh inning in the second game.

The loss was a costly one for Badger. Center fielder Natalie Ortego injured her knee during the game and will miss the rest of the season. York said the team will greatly miss Ortego. Badger put up a valiant effort in the second game despite losing Ortego.

"I am so proud of how the team fought through the adversity of the game," York said. "We didn't get any breaks but I'm proud of how the team moved on to the next play."

In the second game, Badger took a 4-3 lead with four runs in the fourth. Bobula smashed a home run to spark the rally. Westosha went ahead, 5-4, in the fifth, but Badger came back in the sixth. RBI singles from both Parks and Riely Mikrut gave Badger a 6-5 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Parks dropped a tough pop fly in short right field, which allowed two Falcons runs to score to win the game. York said Parks attempted to catch the ball over her shoulder and it popped out of her glove.

"I am so proud of our team's effort and expect we will continue it for the rest of the season," York said.

Bay slumping

Monday's loss marked the fourth in five games for the Bulldogs.

"It's been a terrible week," Kuespert said. "We are working to become a better team. We had a team meeting before the Badger game. If we don't come together, we will struggle. It doesn't get any easier from here."

On Saturday, Williams Bay fell to visiting Delavan-Darien, 13-1.

On Friday, the Bay clobbered Hustisford in five innings, 22-1, to improve to 8-3 in the Trailways South. The Bulldogs scored six runs in both first and fifth innings.

The Bay (8-3) now trails Deerfield (9-0) and Johnson Creek (8-1) in the Trailways South standings.

On May 10, the Bay fell at Pardeeville in nine innings, 1-0. Pardeeville scored the game-winning run on a bases-loaded walk.

The Bay out-hit Pardeeville, 9-3, for the game but stranded six runners in scoring position. Kuespert said it was a great game. Alyssa Alheid was 3-for-4 to lead the Bay.

On May 9, the Bay lost at Johnson Creek, 13-8, despite two Storms home runs. The Bay committed six errors and walked eight Bluejays. "

"We played awful," Kuespert said.

Only two Johnson Creek runs were earned.