SYRACUSE – Wawasee’s softball complex certainly wouldn’t be considered among the famed launching pads like Coors Field or even the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. But the ball was once again flying out of the yard in bunches as Wawasee clubbed its way past Concord, 8-2, Monday night in the final game of the first rotation of the Northern Lakes Conference season.
Wawasee smacked three more homers Monday to run its season total to 16 homers overall, two by Meghan Fretz and another by Kayla White, her first career homer. Fretz and White homered in the first and Fretz hit a no-doubter in the fifth. Fretz also added a solid single to push her batting average to .592 this season. White also had three hits on the day.
Cristina DeLaFuente ripped a two-run triple in the fifth among her two-hit day, and both Graceann Kerlin and Hannah Haines each had two hits. Kylee Rostochak walked twice and scored a run.
“We were fortunate with an early spring to have a lot of live arm hitting,” began Wawasee head coach Jared Knipper, “against the two aces (Fretz and Amber Lemberg) you are seeing every night. They are seeing great pitching day in and day out. They are hitting off those two girls. And they hit those (Concord pitchers) hard. When you see the best night in and night out, I think it translates into what you see.”
Fretz was just as monstrous in the circle, striking out 11 Concord hitters. But the Minutemen did cause problems in spots, only for Fretz and company to get out of trouble when needed.
A leadoff single by McKenzie Loge in the fourth broke up Fretz’s no-hit bid, but Concord drew a pair of walks to load the bases without an out recorded. A pair of fielder’s choices and a strikeout produced just one run, and a little laboring in the seventh from Fretz, who walked six batters overall, still allowed just one more run. In all, Concord managed just one hit as Wawasee moved to 6-1 overall in the NLC as round two will begin Wednesday.
“We had a rough few days with kids getting hurt and a couple kids having opportunities to do some things within the school by missing a few games,” stated Knipper. “For us to be in the position we are in now, we played it out. We are two ahead now in the conference, that’s a good position to be in. You still feel like you gotta to win out. Any given night anybody can win in the NLC. It doesn’t matter what your record is or how good you are. If you don’t play well, you’ll get beat. We gotta continue to focus and not lose what we’ve started here.”
Kiley Austin took the loss for Concord, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk, serving up the two homers in the first.
In the JV game, Concord doubled home two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 5-3 victory. Leah deSomer homered to highlight Wawasee’s day.
Wawasee (14-3) will visit Warsaw Wednesday, a 6 p.m. varsity start.