With NSC title secured by Germantown, Grafton set sights on runner-up spot
With a North Shore Conference title out of reach, the Grafton softball team started this week focused on another goal: second place.
“We have a chance, but we have to win out,” said Grafton coach Ken Hunt, whose squad won three of four games last week to improve to 8-4 in NSC play.
“It’s a big week for us to end the season.”
The Black Hawks began the final stretch of regular-season play one-half game behind second-place Homestead (8-3).
Grafton’s only loss in four conference games last week was a one-run heartbreaker against Germantown, which has clinched the outright crown.
The Black Hawks had little trouble in their other contests, including a 12-2 road win over Milwaukee Lutheran on May 9.
Grafton held a 3-2 lead before breaking things open with an eight-run fifth and won the game in six innings on the mercy rule.
The Black Hawks had only five hits in the game but made the most of scoring chances. Lutheran helped out by committing five errors.
Amanda Hunt led Grafton at the plate with a 2-for-3 effort that included a pair of doubles and two RBI.
Emmy Kabitzke pitched a complete-game four-hitter for the win. She struck out four and walked two.
Lutheran fell to 1-12 in conference play.
Germantown 2, Grafton 1
Amanda Hunt allowed only one hit in a complete-game performance, but it wasn’t enough to hand the visiting Warhawks their first NSC loss of the season May 8.
Germantown took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an unearned run and scored in the sixth with a walk, passed ball, ground out and wild pitch.
In the bottom of the sixth, Grafton scored with singles by Kabitzke, Katie Hunt and Amanda Hunt. However, pitcher Amanda Witzlib was able to escape further damage and retired the side in order in the seventh to secure the win.
“It was a tough loss. We had our chances, but both pitchers threw the ball well,” coach Hunt said.
Witzlib finished with a three-hitter, striking out 12 and walking one.
Amanda Hunt struck out six and walked one.
Grafton 8, Whitefish Bay 6
The Black Hawks overcame a 4-0 deficit to pull out a conference road win May 7.
Bay jump ahead with a four-hit, four-run first inning, but Grafton responded with seven runs in the second inning and never trailed again.
The Hawks had five hits in their big inning, including a two-run double by Morgan Weisflog.
Kabitzke pitched the first six innings for the win, striking out five and walking one.
Sarah Fischer and Katie Hunt each had two hits for Grafton.
This week, the Black Hawks were scheduled to wrap up the regular season with two conference games: Monday against Port Washington and at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cedarburg.
Grafton received a No. 3 seed for the WIAA tournament that begins this week.
On Thursday, the Black Hawks will host Brown Deer (No. 6) in a 4:30 p.m. regional quarterfinal game. The winner will travel to Kewaskum on May 21 for a 4 p.m. semifinal against the No. 2-seeded host team.
Image Information: GRAFTON INFIELDER Lauren Pericak prepared to put the tag on a Germantown runner during a North Shore Conference game May 8. Germantown edged the Black Hawks,
2-1. Photo by Sam Arendt