Grafton pitcher states her Case vs. Port

Junior’s strong performance helps Hawks secure softball victory during tough stretch to start season
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

The Grafton softball team’s 2-9 record so far this season is somewhat deceiving.

The Black Hawks have lost five games by one run and one by two.

On Monday at West Bend West, that wasn’t the case. The host Spartans won, 10-1.

“They hit the ball. We didn’t. Usually a recipe for disaster,” Grafton coach Ken Hunt said.

Sara Paschke went six innings and allowed 11 hits, 10 runs (nine earned), struck out three and walked four in the loss.

Leona Meyer had an RBI double for one of Grafton’s four hits.

Last Saturday, the Hawks dropped two heartbreakers at a tournament in Kenosha, both by scores of 6-5,.

Greendale defeated Grafton in eight innings with a comeback effort.

Leading, 5-4, with two outs in the seventh inning, Grafton made a throwing error that allowed the batter to advance to second. She later scored on a hit.

In the eighth, Paschke struck out the first batter, but the second reached on an error and stole second. After another strikeout, a hit to a gap in right field scored the winning run.

Paschke allowed nine hits and whiffed seven while walking none.

Against Kenosha Bradford, the Hawks were down entering the seventh inning and put runners on first and second, but couldn’t get the winning run home.

The Hawks tried a squeeze in the sixth inning but got caught at the plate.

“That happens,” Hunt said.

Jordyn Case allowed six hits, struck out six and walked three.

At the plate, Paschke went 2-for-3, and Case, Kristyn Case and Meyer each went 2-for-4.

“We’re looking for a little luck to come our way,” Hunt said.

Grafton takes it to rival Port

On a cool and windy afternoon April 26, the Hawks beat rival Port Washington on the road, 13-3, in six innings.

The Hawks scored five runs in the first inning and six in the sixth to pull away.

Case, a junior, went the distance, allowing five hits while whiffing four and walking none.

“She looked really good. Her drop ball was looking really good, her spin was looking really good,” Hunt said.

For Port, pitcher Brianna Heinen started and went five-plus innings and allowed six hits, seven walks. She hit one batter and struck out three.

Defensively, Port center fielder Maggie Noll snagged a short fly ball with a shoestring running catch, and shortstop Keelie Schumacher made a running catch to her left on another.

“Maggie — she’s my rock star,” Port coach Ben Navigato said. “I’ve got two players who can make the plays when I need them, and the rest will follow.”

Grafton used three walks, two singles and a hit batter to take a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Case and Josephine Gust had hits.

Port battled back with one run in the first. Noll had a single and came in on a shot to right-center by Morgan Esselman.

Grafton blew the game open in the sixth inning. Three hits, an error and five walks yielded six runs.

Case retired six of the last seven batters she faced, only allowing one Pirate to reach on an error. Gust went 2-for-3 on the day.

On April 25, Grafton lost to Whitefish Bay, 6-5. The Hawks scored one in the seventh but couldn’t bring the tying run home.

Kristyn Case went 3-for-4, and Jenna Grandetti was 2-for-3.

Paschke went the distance, allowing six runs on 11 hits. She struck out four and walked three.

On April 24, the Hawks lost to Slinger, 15-2. Jordyn Case allowed 18 hits and 12 earned runs, whiffing three and walking none. She went 3-for-3 at the plate.

Paschke went 2-for-3.

Slinger scored six runs in the first and sixth innings.

On Monday, Port lost to Homestead, 11-1, in five innings. Morgan Stone, Brianna Haynes and Jo Jo Czarnecki each had two hits. Esselman started and took the loss.

Port lost to Cedarburg, 10-0, on April 25, one day after falling to West Bend West, 14-2.

This week, Port (0-8 in the North Shore Conference) was scheduled to play at Whitefish Bay Tuesday, host Nicolet Thursday, and play at Hartford on Friday,.

The Pirates will then play at Cedarburg on May 7 and  host Hartford on May 8.

Grafton (2-6 in the NSC) was scheduled to play at West Bend East on Tuesday, host Homestead on Thursday and Cedarburg on Friday, play at Shiocton on Saturday and at Whitefish Bay on Monday and host Nicolet on Tuesday.

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