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Title beat goes on for Lady Hawks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mitch Maersch   
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 21:58

Clutch pitching, hitting send Grafton softball team past Nicolet in shutout win that maintains hold on first

Just past the halfway point of the North Shore Conference season, Grafton’s softball team has yet to be beaten.

The Black Hawks got off to a slow start on Monday at home against Nicolet, but held the Knights scoreless on a no-out, bases-loaded jam and plated seven runs in the third inning on the way to an 11-0 victory in five innings.

AMANDA PARSONThat improved the Hawks to 8-0 in the NSC, ahead of runner-up Germantown (6-1) and third-place Port Washington (6-2).

Although the final score looked dominant, Monday’s contest hung in the balance for nearly three innings.

In the top of the third, pitcher Ally Parsons allowed three straight hits to start the inning, putting the Knights in prime position to score.

But consecutive grounders to third and second led to force plays at home. After a several-pitch at-bat including a host of foul balls, Parsons forced a grounder to short, and the Hawks got out of the jam unscathed.

They followed by scoring seven runs in their half of the inning and blowing the game open.

Lefty Jordyn Case led off with a rocket blast down the right-field line for a triple. Ally and Amanda Parsons walked to load the bases, and Kirsten Krause singled in two runs with a line drive to left field.

Chloe Doring followed with an RBI triple that sailed over the right-fi elder’s head. She later scored on a grounder to the pitcher when the throw home got by the catcher.

Case came up again and this time doubled to left field to score another run, and was tagged out trying to take third.

“We gave them bases loaded here. It’s a 1-0 game. They don’t freak out too bad,” Grafton coach Ken Hunt said.

“Sometimes, they need a little bit of a jump-start. I don’t want them to be like cavaliers and start late and try turning it on.”

“It took us to get through the order,” Amanda Parsons said.

“Sometimes, it takes that, but once we get on a roll, we just keep going.”

In the fourth inning after one run was walked in, Elle Grisar had a two-RBI single to make the tally 11-0.

The Knights got a bloop single over the shortstop in the fifth inning, but center fielder Danielle Koziczkowski shut down any chance of a rally.

The next batter flew to center, and Koziczkowski fired to Case at first for a double play.

After allowing a single, Ally Parsons whiffed the final batter to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule.

While Grafton’s top hitters often put up big numbers, the entire lineup has aided in scoring runs this season. On Monday, No. 8 hitter Grisar had a two-RBI single, and No. 9 Jenna Grandinetti had an RBI single and walk.

“That’s the key,” Hunt said, noting the difference between last year’s top-heavy team to the 2017 version.

“This time everyone is pitching in and there’s no one person who’s carrying the whole team,” he said.

“It’s huge,” Amanda Parsons said. “Definitely, the bottom can pick the top of the order up.”

In addition to runs, balanced hitting builds momentum.

“It’s amazing. It shows the other team that just because our top didn’t do as well doesn’t mean that the bottom won’t,” Amanda Parsons said.

Case went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Ally Parsons walked three times and scored three runs. Amanda Parsons walked three times and scored twice.

Ally Parsons pitched all five innings, allowing six hits and one walk while whiffing two.

Grafton 10, Wrightsown 8 (8 inn.)

Grafton knocked off a challenging nonconference opponent Saturday at Chilton in extra innings.

Ally and Amanda Parsons and Doring each had two hits. Amanda Parsons had three RBI, and Doring and Ally Parsons added two each.

Krause allowed 11 hits and six earned runs, striking out 15 and walking none.

New London 6, Grafton 0

Despite striking the ball well, Grafton was shut out by one of the top-ranked teams in the state Saturday in Chilton, 

“We hit quite a few balls, they were all right at people. We just couldn’t get anything through,” Hunt said.

Grafton 5, Homestead 1

Case went 4-for-4 with a double, one RBI and two runs against a conference rival May 4.

Amanda Parsons went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Koziczkowski had a double.

With the game tied at 1-1, Grafton scored twice in the fifth and sixth innings.

Krause went the distance, whiffing nine and walking two while allowing three hits.

Grafton 4, Germantown 0

The Hawks plated three runs in the sixth inning May 2 to help beat the six-time defending NSC champion.

Case went 3-for-3 with a double and RBI. Leona Meyer had a triple and two RBI.

Krause scattered seven hits, striking out four and walking one.

The rematch against the Warhawks, who edged Grafton by one game for the NSC title last season, was scheduled for Tuesday.

This week, the Hawks (13-4 overall) will  host Milwaukee Lutheran (0-7 NSC) on Thursday and play at Cedarburg (4-3) on Friday.

Next week, Grafton will play at Port Washington on Monday and host Cedarburg on Tuesday.

PHOTO INFORMATION: GRAFTON CATCHER Amanda Parsons was determined to retire a Homestead runner by throwing to a base for a second out after completing a force play at the plate in a North Shore Conference game.       Photo by Sam Arendt

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