Preble softball wins conference opener over De Pere
By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE – It’s a new season, and the Green Bay Preble softball team hasn’t missed a beat.
After playing two games in Florida over spring break to open its season, Preble opened Fox River Classic Conference play April 11 with a 13-0 win over De Pere in five innings.
“The goal was to play the best competition available down south to prepare us for the early part of the conference season,” Green Bay Preble Head Coach Ron Metzler said. “In our first game back in Wisconsin, the kids concentrated on putting the ball in play. It seemed like every time we had a runner on, the batter got an RBI with a timely hit.”
Ava DeBaker opened the scoring for the Hornets in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead.
After Brooke Hock retired the Redbirds in the bottom half of the inning, the Preble bats got hot in the second inning.
Ariene Kollman put down a single and Sam Foytik followed with a double.
Suddenly, De Pere starting pitcher Grace Baugnet was in a jam.
Hannah Vlies grounded out to score Kollman for a 2-0 lead.
Moments later, Hannah Smith put down a squeeze bunt to score Foytik for a 3-0 lead.
While the Hornets continued to pound their bats, De Pere couldn’t buy a hit, as Hock dominated the mound.
The floodgates opened in the top of the fourth inning.
With a five-run lead, Preble cycled through its batting order, tacking on eight additional runs to take a convincing 13-0 lead.
During the onslaught, Madi Whitney and Kollman both connected on doubles that hit the left-field fence.
“Our kids hit a ton in winter,” Metzler said. “The parents buy into helping them to get where they are today.”
An inning later, the game ended due to the mercy rule, as Hock recorded the shutout.
“(Hock) was consistent,” Metzler said. “She threw at the batters and challenged them. She was precise with her pitches and didn’t miss much tonight. I want to see consistent improvement. With 26 games or so, it’s hard to not go up and down. The challenges are there with high school kids. I know one thing, though, it’s a great feeling to be back on the field and competing in a super conference.”