Softball teams taking their lumps early

Young Grafton and Port squads going through growing pains while learning
Ozaukee Press staff


Ozaukee Press staff

“Star Wars” fans would say the Grafton and Port Washington softball teams are still learning the ways of the force.

The Black Hawks last week dropped two games, the latter a 5-4 heartbreaker in 10 innings on Thursday at Homestead.

After taking a 4-0 lead through three innings, the Highlanders bounced back with three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Homestead used a leadoff single and a two-out triple to even the score at 4-4.

In the 10th inning, the The Hawks got the leadoff hitter out but then allowed four straight singles.

Grafton freshman Sara Paschke went 9-2/3 innings, throwing 129 pitches. She allowed three earned runs on 13 hits, struck out one and walked one.

“I think Sara was running out of gas there a little bit,” coach Ken Hunt said.

“I think once she gets a little big stronger throughout the year she’ll be able to find a way to power through those final couple of innings.”

Grafton’s offense didn’t hit the ball much worse as the game wore on, but the Hawks weren’t finding the right spots.

“We were just hitting the ball right at people and things weren’t falling in the gaps like they were in the first few innings,” Hunt said.

Leadoff hitter Jenna Grandetti, Natalie McDaniels and Leona Meyer each had three hits for Grafton. Grandetti, Jordyn Case and Paschke each had a double. Case and Jess Wagner each had an RBI.

Grafton’s defense made three errors, which was an improvement, Hunt said.

On April 10, the Hawks lost to West Bend East, 8-3.

The Suns used a four-run third inning to break the game open with one swing of the bat. After a walk, two ground outs, a single and another walk, Emily Karoses clobbered a grand slam.

“That was a launch, too, a no-doubter. Went about 250 (feet),” Hunt said.

Grafton scored one run in the second inning and two in the third.

“We’ve been able to score in the early innings. After the fourth inning, I don’t know what it is,” Hunt said.

Grandetti went 3-for-4, Josephine Gust 2-for-2 and McDaniels 2-for-3. McDaniels and Meyer each had one RBI.

Case allowed eight earned runs on 14 hits, whiffed one and walked seven. The junior didn’t get much experience pitching since ace Kirsten Krause and senior Ally Parsons handled most of the duties last year.

This season, with Krause and backup pitcher Ellie Grisar both out for the year with ACL injuries, Paschke has taken the lead and Case will get more opportunities.

Pirates start rough but coach sees potential

Port began the season 0-3 in blowout fashion last week.

The Pirates on Monday lost at Homestead, 15-5; on Tuesday lost to Whitefish Bay, 13-3; and on Thursday lost at Nicolet, 17-0.

“I’ve got a young squad. They’re learning” first-year coach Ben Navigato said.

“Girls have good attitudes. We lose but they’re not kicking the dirt and throwing their gloves.”

Against Homestead, Emma Uselding had two hits, and Keelie Schumacher, Maggie Noll and Morgan Esselman had doubles.

Brianna Heinen had a rough outing pitching and didn’t get much help on defense.

Schumacher had a triple and single against Whitefish Bay, and Morgan Stone and Samantha Martin each had doubles.

Navigato said Uselding pitched well and walked five. The Pirates made five errors.

Nicolet hit the ball hard against Heinen, racking up a home run and a triple.

Nobody had more than one hit for Port. Uselding had a double.

Navigato said he brought in a pitching machine and taught the girls to choke up to speed their swing.

“I had pitching machine at 60 and they were right on it. It might be a good thing we’ve got a couple of more practices inside,” he said.

“I see a lot of potential.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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