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At long last: a Grafton softball title PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mitch Maersch   
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 18:24

Krause-led Hawks handle Port, storm in wrapping up their first North Shore crown

It was a bit anticlimactic due to the weather, but the Grafton Black Hawks welcomed their first North Shore Conference softball title in any way, shape or form.

KIRSTEN KRAUSE s2051517001 4C

For four innings on Monday, that meant another dominant performance at the plate and in the field.

The Hawks clobbered host Port Washington, 11-0, before lightning put the game on hold. A rainstorm soon followed, and the game was called even though the five innings weren’t played.

Grafton’s players took cover in the team bus during the storm. A big cheer filled the vehicle when coach Ken Hunt told his team the game was over and the Hawks had won the conference outright.

“They were pretty happy once I told them on the bus,” Hunt said. “They knew going into this game that we had at least a share of it locked up.”

Sophomore pitcher Kirsten Krause limited Port to three hits and a walk while striking out three in 3-1/3 innings before the weather stopped the game.

Krause was as effective at the plate, with two doubles that reached the wall, a single, three RBI and a run.

“She’s got some sneaky power,” Hunt said.

Defending NSC Player of the Year Amanda Parsons didn’t have her best day batting, but she exploded from behind the plate to throw out a Pirate on a short grounder.

“She’s pretty quick and makes good throws. It’s something I’ve been accustomed to seeing for the last four years,” Hunt said.

“She’s the general on the field; she calls the plays. She lets the defense know where they’re supposed to be at. She helps set the tone defensively and offensively.”

After nearly ending Germantown’s six-year run of NSC titles last year before faltering down the stretch — including losing a late game to Port — the Hawks kept their foot on the gas this season.

“We talked about that early in the season. We felt like we let it slip away,” Hunt said.

“We’re pretty happy about being able to lock up conference.”

Kate Snook, Port’s first-team all-conference pitcher, is battling a leg muscle problem, and the visitors were rude right from the start.

Sophomore Jordyn Case bunted for a one-out single, and Ally Parsons scored her on a shot to left field. A Krause line drive to left later scored Parsons.

Leading, 2-0, in the top of the second, Grafton  took control by scoring seven times with a surge that started with the bottom third of its order.

Elle Grisar walked, Jenna Grandinetti bunted for a single and Danielle Koziczkowski had an infield single to load the bases.

Case singled to center for one RBI, and Ally Parsons pounded a grounder past the shortstop to score two more.

With one out, Krause blasted a two-run double off the center-field fence.

Leona Meyer blooped a single over the second baseman’s head to score Krause. Meyer later scored with a pitch got past the catcher.

In the third inning with Brianna Heinen relieving Snook, Kozickowski walked, and Case followed by blasting an RBI triple to the right field fence. She scored on a balk.

Case, who Hunt called one of the surprises of the season, had a single, double and triple for the game.

“Her bat really had some good pop,” he said.

For Port, Erin Jozwowski, Karley Lehtikangas and Morgan Esselman each had a single.

“We’re not playing so well right now,” Port coach Bob Snook said.

“Port’s still a talented team. I think our girls were ready for the challenge,” Hunt said.

This week, Grafton, which improved to 12-0 in the NSC and 17-4 overall, was scheduled to host Cedarburg (6-5) on Tuesday and Whitefish Bay (6-6) on Thursday.

Port fell to 7-4 in the NSC and 9-8 overall. The Pirates were scheduled to play a doubleheader against Germantown (6-3 NSC) on Tuesday and face Nicolet (1-9) on Thursday.

“Hopefully, we can pick it up in the next couple of days,” Snook said.

Grafton 8, Cedarburg 0

The Hawks took it to their conference rivals on the road last Friday in the teams’ first meeting of the season.

Hunt said Cedarburg had played the NSC’s top teams tough.

“They definitely have some talent,” he said.

Grafton scored three runs in the first inning and one run each in the second and third innings to take control. Another two runs came in the fourth, and the rout was on.

Case was 3-for-4 with an RBI and Amanda Parsons 3-for-5 with an RBI.

Krause added a double and two RBI, Koziczkowski had a double, three walks and three runs, and Meyer had a triple and single.

Krause allowed two hits in seven innings, whiffing nine and walking none.

Grafton 17, Milw. Lutheran 0 (5 innings)

The Hawks took advantage of an overmatched team at home, scoring nine runs in the first inning of an NSC game May 11.

Case, Ally Parsons and Meyer each had three hits. Case, Chloe Doring and Meyer had three RBI apiece.

Parsons got the win, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out seven.

Grafton 4, Germantown 2

The big rematch of the conference battle at Germantown went Grafton’s way on May 9, its fifth straight win over the Warhawks.

“We’ve been playing them tough for several years. We’d get up for that game. The team wants to knock off the champs,” Hunt said.

Grafton notched three runs in the first inning. Koziczkowski led off with a single and later scored on an Amanda Parsons hit. Krause then blasted a home run over the left-field fence.

“It was a good way to get it started,” Hunt said. “When we’re away we talk about scoring first, putting pressure on the other team.”

Germantown scored one run in each the sixth and seventh inning.

Koziczkowski, Amanda Parsons and Krause each had two hits. Parsons and Krause each had two RBI.

Krause went the distance, allow two runs on nine hits. She walked one and struck out four.

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