By Mike Deak
SYRACUSE – New faces and names are abound in the Wawasee Summer League softball division, and with it came a statement from a new contender Tuesday evening.
The Rockford Peaches, coming in largely comprised of the defending champion team from 2019, ran into stiff competition from the fiercely dubbed Screaming Turtles in what amounted to an 8-0 win at Schrock Park in the opening softball contest of the 2020 WSL season.
The first pitch of the season from Turtle starter Olivia Krichbaum was a strike, and later worked a strikeout to begin the game. After getting out of the first unscathed, the Turtles went to work, with Kynlee Fisher opening with a double and coming home on an RBI single from Marijo Bontrager. Two batters later Bontrager scored on a Krichbaum RBI.
Bontrager later added a two-run double to help the cause.
“It didn’t take long at all for the girls to get back to their normal selves playing,” stated Screaming Turtles coach Mike Fowler. “The girls just got out there and played ball. It ended up being a good game.”
The Peaches, coached by Jamie Beer, had runners on base throughout the game, but couldn’t find the right combo at the plate to push any runs across.
“We had some first-game jitters like everyone does, but it’s OK, happy to be out here playing,” said Beer, who also serves as league president.
Wawasee enjoyed its second day on the field, having opened Monday with baseball action. While also wearing the coaching hat on Tuesday has been overseeing his league work through the safety modifications set forth by Little League International as well as the state health board. So far, so good.
“So far, it’s exceeded my expectations,” Beer said. “ I knew the people just wanted to get out and watch the kids. The crowd last night was huge, tonight we had a lot of people out and around the diamond. Mostly people are just enjoying coming out and watching the games.”