By Murray Gleffe
PULASKI — Brynn Egnarski hit a two-run homer and a triple to help lead the Pulaski softball team to a 6-1 Fox River Classic Conference victory June 11 over De Pere at Betty Van Laanen Field.
“The awesome thing about our team is we hit for power,” Billi Jo Vertz, Pulaski head coach, said. “Anybody from one through nine can step up. It’s a matter of taking advantage of opportunities when they come your way. I’m glad we got the chance to play a couple of days ahead of the playoffs. It keeps you sharp and ready for the first game of the postseason.”
Morgan Vertz delivered on the mound for the Red Raiders, pitching seven innings, giving up one run.
Neither team gained momentum in the first couple of innings.
In the bottom of the third, Pulaski’s Nya Matuszak led off with a double to the right-field fence.
Egnarski then stepped to the plate and ripped a two-run homer to give the Red Raiders a 2-0 lead.
“We knew we had to get our bats going,” Egnarski said. “This is a game which matters the most today. We finally got the energy and consistency going in the third inning. I saw the pitch well and made a good swing.”
In the top of the fourth, De Pere starting pitcher Jessica Lamirande doubled, but Vertz got out of the inning after forcing an Alexandria Stathas groundout.
“It’s key our pitchers stay ahead in the count,” Vertz said. “When they are in control, they can work on their different spin pitches and keep the batters guessing.”
In the bottom half of the inning, Pulaski added to its lead.
With two outs, Skyler Lukasik singled to right field, and Matuszak followed suit.
With two runners on, Egnarski again came up big for Pulaski by connecting on a triple, scoring two runs to give the home team a 4-0 lead after four innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Gabrielle DeCleene hit a 240-foot solo homer to lead off.
Minutes later, Peighton Agamaite scored to give the Red Raiders a six-run advantage.
“It’s a special group of girls,” Egnarski said. “We all get along well. We have to keep it rolling.”
In the top of the seventh, De Pere got on the board when Olivia Baugnet came across the plate after Kellyn Pelegrin ripped a single to right field.
Pulaski earned a No. 3 seed in the WIAA Division 1 postseason and will host No. 6 Green Bay Southwest Monday, June 14, while No. 5 De Pere will travel to No. 4 Ashwaubenon.
“We need to play complete defense with the teams who we’re grouped with in the regionals,” Vertz said. “Evey team is capable of winning. You also need timely hitting to advance. It will be fun.”
De Pere: 000 000 1 — 1
Pulaski: 002 220 x — 6