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Jaguars sweep Trojans in softball doubleheader 

By Rich Palzewic

Contributing Writer

Ashwaubenon pitcher Jocelyn Wirth prepares to uncork a pitch on April 29 versus Green Bay Southwest. The Jaguars swept the doubleheader with 14-1 and 14-4 victories. Rich Palzewic photo 

The Jaguars posted 14-1 and 14-4 wins to improve to 14-1 overall and 11-0 in the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) in games played at Southwest High School. 

Both games ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. 

On the evening, Ashwaubenon Coach Shannon VanLaanen picked up his 200th and 201st wins as coach of the Jaguars. 

“That means I’m old – that’s what it means,” VanLaanen laughed. “I’ve had the opportunity to have coached a lot of awesome kids over the years. It’s been my pleasure to be here (since 2014) – whether it’s 200 wins or whatever that number is. Every year is a different puzzle to put together with a new team.”

VanLaanen was the Ashwaubenon baseball coach for six years from 2006-12 and served as the assistant softball coach in 2013. 

“I’ve been fortunate to have had great assistant coaches with me,” VanLaanen said. “The parents have been awesome as well.” 

Game one 

After a scoreless first inning, Ashwaubenon erupted for eight runs in the second and six more in the third. 

“It was good to put up some runs early in the second inning,” VanLaanen said. “The hits came, and it was momentum after that.” 

In the second inning, Ashwaubenon used four hits, two walks, two Southwest errors, a passed ball and two wild pitches to put the game out of reach early. 

Kendyl Weiner had a two-RBI single to make it 5-0 before an out was recorded. 

Jocelyn Wirth had two hits in the inning – and an RBI – while Brynn Wirth and Gianna Guarascio (double) also had hits – a part of the Jaguars sending 11 batters to the plate. 

Peyton Crutcher led off the inning with a fly ball to right field that was misplayed, resulting in a four-base error for the first run of the game. 

In the third, Ashwaubenon sent another 10 batters to the plate to score six runs. 

The Jaguars collected five hits in the marathon inning and were aided by another Trojans error, a passed ball and a wild pitch. 

Sophia Zabel, Crutcher, J. Wirth and B. Wirth all had RBI in the inning. 

J. Wirth collected three hits in the game. 

The Trojans (4-9 overall, 2-9 FRCC) finally broke into the scoring column in the fourth after Audrey Nelson ripped a one-out double and scored a batter later when Delaney King plated her with a double of her own. 

“We didn’t start well,” third-year Southwest Coach Shawn Neuville said. “Our (starting) pitcher (Dekorah VonHaden) had to come out with a bloody nose, so that didn’t help, either. The wheels came off after that.”

Green Bay Southwest second baseman Addison Gusick fields a ground ball on April 29 versus Ashwaubenon. 

Game two 

Ashwaubenon starting pitcher Grace Aichelle got the win for the Jaguars, pitching four innings while striking out six. 

Only one of the Southwest runs was earned off Aichelle. 

J. Wirth was 3-for-3, while Deejae Johnson (triple), Weiner (two doubles), Crutcher and Guarascio (two doubles) all collected two hits. 

E. Kirst also nailed a three-run homer. 

For the Trojans, King had two RBI.

“I’m pleased with how things are going this season,” VanLaanen said. “We didn’t peak too early – we’re getting better every day. The girls are feeding off that and are hungry.”

For Southwest, Neuville said, “We have a great group of girls.”

“I have five seniors – seven in all – who have been with the program for a long time, one who came out after playing in middle school and a foreign exchange student from Italy. We’re starting to grow the program.” 

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