Janesville Craig cruises to victory, Parker falls
JANESVILLE As the old saying goes, “The cream always rises to the top.”
Coach Dan Bayreuther has a well-working dairy on the top of his Janesville Craig softball team.
Haley Bayreuther, Stephanie Perleberg and Leigh Grall went 9-for-11 with six runs scored and four RBIs in the Cougars’ 8-2 victory over Oregon in a WIAA Division 1 regional opener Tuesday at the Janesville Youth Sports Complex.
The Cougars (15-8) play at Fort Atkinson on Thursday in a regional final, with the winner advancing to the Craig Sectional. If the top of the Craig order produces like it did Tuesday, the Blackhawks (18-6) will have a challenge.
Haley Bayreuther, Dan’s junior daughter, was 4-for-4 with four runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases batting in the leadoff spot.
Perleberg, a junior, went 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Grall, a sophomore, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
“Haley had a good game,” coach Bayreuther said. “If we get her on base, ‘Perly’ can handle the bat, and Grall can handle the bat.”
The Cougars (15-8) scored in four of their six at-bats without an extra-base hit.
Much of the offense came on taking extra bases and forcing Oregon to make plays.
A prime example of the pressure Haley Bayreuther puts on the defense came in the third inning with the Cougars leading 1-0.
The shortstop put down a bunt just a few feet in front of the plate and beat it out. She advanced to second when Perleberg beat out a grounder to second. Bayreuther and Perleberg then executed a double steal.
Grall then hit a fly to right. Bayreuther took off after the catch, but the throw beat her to the plate. Bayreuther screeched to a halt just a few feet from the plate and somehow managed to get back to third, diving headfirst to get under the tag.
The play proved critical when Stephanie Kalish beat out a grounder to short to score Bayreuther.
“I said, ‘Oh, my gosh, I have to go back,’ ” Bayreuther said of her retreat back to third. “I like to mess with them on the bases.”
“That was a very head’s-up play,” Dan Bayreuther said. “I got her going a little late on the tag. That was a key play.”
Craig led 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, and put the Panthers away with four runs.
Shelby Hanewold opened the inning with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Kylie Clark.
Bayreuther stuck her fourth single of the day into right, moving Hanewold to third. Perleberg then hit a rocket that handcuffed the third baseman, scoring Hanewold.
Perleberg advanced to second, and both Bayreuther and Perleberg scored on Grall’s base hit. Grall went to second on the throw home and stole third.
Stephanie Kalish drove in the final run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left.
Paige Weber did the rest on the mound, striking out three. Heather Edgren’s homer over the right field wall broke up the shutout, but with the Cougars creating havoc on the bases, Weber was in control.
CRAIG 8, OREGON 2
Oregon 000 110 0—2 5 2
Janesville Craig 101 204 x—8 11 0
Morey and Damon; Weber and Sullivan.
Leading hitters—Bayreuther (JC) 4x4, Perleberg (JC) 3x3, Grall (JC) 2x3. HR—Edgren (O).
SO—Weber (JC) 3. BB—Morey (O) 4.
-- Waterford 9, Parker 1—The visiting Vikings managed only two hits in losing the Division 1 regional semifinal game.
Waterford (14-7) hosts Milton (15-8) on Thursday in a regional final game that pairs into the Janesville Craig Sectional.
Parker (4-19) led 1-0 in the top of the second on Lindsay Clauer’s RBI single, but the Wolverines took the lead for good on Alicia Barbian’s home run and a Parker error.
Maddie Szalewski struck out 10 in picking up the win.
“I didn’t think she was anything special, but we just couldn’t get to her,” Parker coach Jenni Seisser said of Szalewski. “And our errors hurt us once again.”
Clauer had both of Parker’s hits.
WATERFORD 9, PARKER 1
Janesville Parker 010 000 0—1 2 3
Waterford 023 004 x—9 8 3
Ross, Muehlenkamp (6); Szalewski.
Leading hitters—Clauer (JP) 2x3, Ellie (W) 2x3. 2B—Abbey Zartman (W). HR—Alicia Barbian (W).
SO—Muehlenkamp (JP) 1, Szalewski (W) 10. BB—Ross 3, Muehlenkamp 2, Szalewski 1.