Jaguars’ softball pounds out 15 hits in big win
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON – The Ashwaubenon softball team showed why it’s in first place in the Fox River Classic Conference.
The Jaguars notched the 10-run rule in defeating the De Pere Redbirds 11-1 in five innings in a game played April 26 at Pioneer Park.
“We had hits up and down the lineup today,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Shannon VanLaanen. “It was a total team effort. We broke the game open in the fourth and then continued to extend in the fifth.”
Kate Cleveland got the win, giving up one run and three hits, and McKayleigh Piper took the loss giving up 11 runs on 15 hits in four innings.
Zion Estano and Chloe Brabant each had three hits for the Jaguars, while Maddy Coopmans had 3 RBI, and Kally VanLaanen added two.
“She (Zion) is our leader on the bases with her foot speed,” added VanLaanen. “You have to make a good throw as an opponent to get her out.”
With the Jaguars (8-1 overall, 7-0 FRCC) clinging to a 1-0 lead through two innings, Alexandra Westphal stepped to the plate in the top of the third and cranked a 250-foot shot over the center-field wall into a 25-mph head wind to even the game at one apiece.
That would be all the scoring the Redbirds (7-4 overall, 5-4 FRCC) would produce, though, on this day.
“She (Alex) really connected on that ball,” said De Pere head coach, Matt Eakin. “However, we needed more hits and our defense to be better.”
In the bottom of the third, Estano and Brabant hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning scoring Estano.
Additional singles by Cleveland, Anna Wendorf and Coopmans brought home three runs to extend the Jaguars’ margin to 5-1.
“Maddy (Coopmans) kept the third inning alive with that two-out single to give us a nice lead going into the fourth,” VanLaanen said.
After a quick half inning by the Redbirds, Ashwaubenon added to its onslaught.
“We found the gaps in those middle innings,” Brabant said. “We just kept feeding off one another.”
Four more singles and a double for good measure put the Jaguars up 9-1 and left many in attendance a bit taken back at what had happened during the previous 15 minutes to unlock the tie.
“We ran into a buzz-saw today,” added Eakin. “They were really confident at the plate, took good, quality cuts and in addition, we had some fielding errors.”
The Jaguars added two runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game and remain undefeated in conference.
“I am super excited for this team victory over a good team in De Pere,” Cleveland said. “We were confident here at home and kept aggressive when we stepped in to the batter’s box.”
De Pere: 001 00—1
Ashwaubenon: 104 42—11