Bunts get Craig's motor running in shutout victory over Parker
JANESVILLE Sometimes the shortest hits do the most damage.
Janesville Craig's first two hits combined wouldn't have reached halfway down the first base line Tuesday against Janesville Parker.
But when the third hitter, Stephanie Perleberg, grounded out to short, the Cougars had their first run en route to a 12-0 five-inning victory over the Vikings in a Big Eight Conference softball game at the Janesville Youth Sports Complex.
Both leadoff hitter Haley Bayreuther and No. 2 hitter Kylie Clark dropped bunts in front of the plate to open the game. Both reached and ended up scoring in the five-run first. The inning also featured an RBI triple to right by Stephanie Kalish and RBI singles by Leigh Grall and Alison Hughes.
The Cougars added five more runs in the second. Sarah Holford had a two-run single, Autum Sullivan walked with the bases loaded, and Hughes had a two-run single.
With Paige Weber getting the first nine Parker hitters in order, the Cougars were firmly in control to go to 2-0 in the Big Eight and 5-0 overall.
The Cougars did just about everything right against the Vikings, starting with the two bunts to start the game.
"I thought that was the biggest story of the game," said Craig coach Dan Bayreuther. "We executed almost to perfection in that first inning. We got the bunts down and ran the bases well. Just a good first inning."
The Cougars also performed in the field. Weber allowed just two hits while striking out nine. Five of the final six outs came on strikeouts.
"I was hitting all my spots," Weber said.
"She was in control the whole game," Bayreuther said.
Meanwhile, the Vikings (0-2, 0-5) failed to make plays behind starter Ashley Ross that prolonged innings.
Parker coach Jenni Seisser admired the way the Cougars handled the game.
"They hit well," Seisser said. "They executed well, and they take advantage of everything you give them.
"Errors have been the story of our season," Seisser said. "We had several mental errors as well. They are a good team."
Kayce Chesebro's solid single to center to start the fourth was the first hit and base runner Weber allowed. Andrea Roeber then bunted and reached first.
But Weber then struck out two of the next three batters to get out of the only jam she faced.
"Up and down the lineup, we hit the ball well." Bayreuther said. "Everybody got an at-bat today. We had no superstar. Everybody contributed."
Both teams play another Big Eight game today. Craig is at Madison Memorial, while Parker is at the Youth Sports Complex to play Verona.
CRAIG 12, PARKER 0
Craig 551 10—12 14 0
Parker 000 00—0 2 3
Weber and Sullivan; Ross, Muehlenkamp (4) and Henke.
Leading hitters—Clark (JC) 2x3, Grall (JC) 3x4, Holford (JC) 2x3, Kalish (JC) 2x3, Hughes (JC) 2x2. 2B—Kalish (JC). 3B—Kalish (JC), Cramer (JC).
SO—Weber (JC) 12, Ross (JP) 1, Muehlenkamp 1. BB—Ross 3.