Big fourth inning carries Phantoms over Redbirds
By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – A big fourth inning by the West De Pere softball team offensively and some shoddy De Pere defense helped lead the Phantoms to an 11-1, five-inning nonconference victory June 4 at Westwood Elementary School.
The Phantoms scored seven runs in the fourth, which were aided by two Redbirds errors.
“We put the pressure on De Pere defensively in the fourth inning,” Jennifer Timm, West De Pere head coach, said. “West De Pere softball is up for anything – we’ll hit the ball, we’ll run and bunt.”
During the fourth-inning rally, Timm called for bunts with three consecutive batters.
In that inning, Josie Fredrickson, Ella Arendt, Laura Ehlert, Noelle Vogels, Leah Kocken (double) and Morgan Hansel had hits for the Phantoms.
Ehlert, Karleigh Linssen, Vogels, Kocken (2) and Hansel (2) were credited with RBI.
“We can’t give outs away,” Matt Eakin, De Pere head coach, said. “It fires the other team up, and West De Pere took advantage of it. It was like a waterfall, and we couldn’t turn it off.”
Leading 9-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, Arendt homered for West De Pere to make it 10-1 before Rebekah Buboltz singled a few batters later to score Linssen to end the game via the 10-run rule.
De Pere committed two more errors in the inning, giving them five total for the game.
“I usually don’t swing at high pitches,” Arendt said. “I was expecting something lower, but I drove it out. It’s always fun to play against De Pere – it’s a good rivalry.”
Olivia Baugnet led off the first inning for the Redbirds with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Mikayla McWilliams then plated Baugnet with an RBI single for De Pere’s only run of the game.
Phantoms pitcher Nevaeh Wagendorf had a two-RBI double in the third to score Vogels and Buboltz to make it 2-1.
Wagendorf pitched all five innings for West De Pere, giving up three hits and striking out three.
“She will work hard for anything,” Timm said about Wagendorf. “As a sophomore, I can’t expect much more from her.”
Eakin said Wagendorf’s changeup had his hitters fooled.
“She hit that outside corner,” he said. “We were not hitting it well and were off-balance from her changeup. When you don’t know it’s coming, it’s a tough pitch to hit. We were out in front of it, which induces pop-ups and groundouts.”
Buboltz, Hansel, Arendt, Linssen and Vogels each collected two hits for the Phantoms, while Jessica Lamirande had the other hit for the Redbirds.