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One-run blues bug Black Hawks PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 14:44

Close losses leave Grafton baseball team searching for answers down home stretch

Baseball left the Grafton Black Hawks singing the one-run blues.

After winning three of their five previous games, the Hawks lost three straight by the slimmest of margins last week, capped by a 7-6 heartbreaker against Port Washington on June 28.

A shaky start by his team and a short-circuited rally in the bottom of the seventh inning left Grafton coach Brian Durst shaking his head.

“It was a really, really tough loss,” said Durst, whose squad committed five errors and had the bases loaded with no outs in the final inning before failing to score the tying run in a sweltering North Shore Conference battle.

“This kind of game left us with a bad taste at the end of a tough week. We lost three games we knew we should have won.”

To their credit, the Hawks recovered from a 7-1 deficit to make a game of it on Parents Night.

After Port starter Derek Haley retired 12 straight batters from the second through fifth innings, Grafton broke through in the sixth. Choo Weisflog reached on an infield error and eventually scored on Beau Benzschawel’s groundout.

Things got especially interesting in the Hawks’ seventh.

Lennon, Hilton join NSC softball elite PDF Print E-mail
Written by steve ostermann   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 14:38

Grafton outfielder, Port catcher among the best in talent-laden conference

In a softball league filled with outstanding players, earning a top spot in postseason honors is a tough task.

Two local juniors — Grafton’s Lauren Lennon and Port Washington’s Mikayla Hilton — both passed the test with flying colors this season by receiving All-North Shore Conference first-team accolades.

Lennon was chosen as one of the league’s top three outfielders in the coaches voting, and Hilton was named the top catcher.

Lennon earned first-team recognition for the second straight year for her strong all-around play. She had the league’s eighth-best batting average at .463 and led the NSC with 21 steals.

She had a .732 slugging average, scored 18 runs and drove in 10 runs.

“Our plan was to get Lauren on base and have her score, and she did that most of the time,” said Grafton coach Ken Hunt, whose team tied for third place in the conference with an 8-6 record.

“She actually struggled early in the season, for the first four or five games, but then came on strong the rest of the way.”

Hilton was one of the conference’s top hitters and led Port in virtually every offensive category. She hit .468, sixth-best in league play, and had a .872 slugging average with four homers, five doubles and 19 RBI.

Giving kids a sporting chance PDF Print E-mail
Written by SARAH McCRAW   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:04

Grafton resident’s GloBall project puts donated game equipment in hands of needy children around the world

    Basketballs, soccer equipment, baseball gloves and uniforms by the dozens are piling up in a Port Washington office, waiting to be shipped to impoverished children around the world.

    The collection of sporting goods is for GloBall Giving, a nonprofit organization founded by 42-year-old Mark Rolison of Grafton.

    “I love to travel and I love sports. I’ve played sports all my life, so I just combined the two,” Rolison said.

    Rolison said the inspiration for GloBall came to him during a trip to Kenya with Habitat for Humanity in March 2011. Volunteers took three soccer balls to a school that had 250 students and no sports equipment.

    “It really did touch my heart when you realized how happy these kids were with just three simple soccer balls,” Rolison said.

    “They didn’t expect anything. They didn’t say, ‘Why only three?’ It was the pure, simple joy of something that we take for granted.”

    After returning from that trip, Rolison — who owns Frontier Medical Products in Port Washington — launched GloBall Giving.

    The organization focuses on collecting items for three sports that are practically universal: soccer, basketball and baseball.

    Rolison notes the donations not only help children around the world, but make a difference locally as well.

    “On one level, we’re helping children that would have no opportunity to play. Secondly, we’re helping on a local level with recycling,” he said.

    “All these uniforms, balls and shoes would end up in landfills, and now we have a home for them.”

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