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Watson does it all in Bay Port win

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

SUAMICO – Not only did Bay Port pitcher Alexis Watson hurl a four-hit shutout in her team’s 1-0 Fox River Classic Conference victory May 18 over Ashwaubenon, but she also collected two hits and drove in the only run of the game.

The Pirates used a Watson sacrifice fly in the first inning to eke out the win at Bay Port High School.

Bay Port pitcher Alexis Watson fired a four-hit shutout, had two hits and drove in the only run of the game in her team’s 1-0 Fox River Classic Conference victory May 18 over Ashwaubenon. Rich Palzewic Photo

“As a pitcher, I believe in my defense,” said Watson, who struck out four Jaguars batters. “I can give up a hit, but I know our offense is strong to come back.”

Mady Wolfgram led off the first with a single, advanced to second on a Brooklyn Rau sacrifice bunt and then scampered to third on a wild pitch.

Watson then lifted a fly ball deep enough into the outfield with a stiff breeze blowing in to score Wolfgram.

“It seems when I pitch well, I also do well at the plate,” Watson said. “I see the pitches at the plate.”

Bay Port head coach Amber Francour said this game showed her team can manufacture runs when needed.

“It’s about getting that first run and playing small ball,” she said. “We’re a good hitting team, but all we needed was one tonight with the way Alexis was pitching.”

Francour said Watson is one of the hardest workers on the team.

“Alexis is also extremely coachable,” she said. “She was hitting her spots and doing what we asked of her. Her hitting has come a long way, too.”

Despite only producing a handful of hits, Ashwaubenon had its chances.

The Jaguars left eight base runners stranded, including two in the second inning and the bases loaded in the third.

“That was the name of the game,” said Shannon VanLaanen, Ashwaubenon head coach. “We had tons of chances, but Alexis made the pitches. We hit several balls hard, but they were right at the defense. They scored their one run on a hit and a sacrifice fly.”

In the second inning, Morgan Jarvi singled with one out before Nyia Marohl walked.

Watson then coaxed two groundouts to end the inning.

In the third, a single by Madyson Rothe, an infield error by the Pirates and an intentional walk to Anna Wendorf loaded the bases for the Jaguars.

The junior Watson then got Jarvi to pop out to end the threat.

Ashwaubenon had a chance to at least tie the game in the top of the seventh inning, but a good defensive play by Bay Port catcher Brynn Dahlke and shortstop Maggie Luedke slammed the door shut on the Jaguars.

Brynn Bauer singled with one out and then attempted to steal second base on the first pitch of Rothe’s next at-bat.

Dahlke fired a strike to Luedke at second, who then slapped the tag on the helmet of Bauer to record the second out of the inning.

“It was a low pitch for Brynn, and she did an awesome job getting rid of the ball,” Francour said. “We’ve been working on Maggie’s tags at second base. It was the turning point of that inning.”

VanLaanen said he’d do the same thing when that situation arises again.

“Brynn is one of our best base runners,” he said. “She is fast, and I didn’t hesitate to call for the steal there. It was a close play.”

Despite surrendering three hits, Jaguars pitcher Olivia Zabel was the hard-luck loser.

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