Janesville Craig blanks Parker softball
JANESVILLE With hits as scarce as a windless moment at the Janesville Youth Sports Complex on Tuesday, Janesville Craig took advantage of every opportunity to score to down Janesville Parker in a Big Eight Conference softball game.
Despite being limited to just four hits, the Cougars grinded out a 5-0 victory over the Vikings.
Unlike the first time these two teams met when Craig scored five times in each of the first two innings en route to a 12-0 five-inning win, the rematch was close until a few Parker miscues led to a pair of two-run innings that closed out the scoring.
After stopping Parker’s best scoring shot in the top of the first inning, Craig scored in the bottom of the inning.
Haley Bayreuther, who scored two of the Cougars’ runs, singled and stole second. She advanced to third on a groundout.
With Leigh Grall at the plate, Coach Dan Bayreuther ordered a suicide squeeze. Grall managed to get a high pitch from Erin Muehlenkamp down in front of the plate. Haley Bayreuther was halfway home, and sprinted the rest of the way when the play went to first base.
“We bunted right away because I wanted to get on top,” Bayreuther said. “To Haley’s credit, when the throw went to first she just kept going. Leigh handled a pretty high pitch.”
Muehlenkamp then held the Cougars scoreless until the fourth.
Craig starter Paige Weber did the same to the Vikings. An error and stolen base by Kayce Chesebro in the top of the first set up Parker’s best scoring chance. But with Chesebro on third with one out, the Vikings did not put a suicide squeeze bunt in play, and a pop out and strikeout stranded Chesebro.
The Vikings did not get a runner to second the remainder of the game, with singles by Anna Athmann, Karlee Fowler and Muehlenkamp the only Parker hits.
“It was much better than the first time,” Coach Jenni Seisser said of the Parker effort. “We’re just not hitting the ball.”
With six strikeouts and no walks, Weber finished with 15 strikeouts and no walks in 12 innings against Parker.
With Weber handling the Viking hitters, the Cougars put the game away with two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Nicole Kelly opened the fourth with a solid single through shortstop, and then the Parker defense helped the Cougars. Stephanie Kalish hit a hard shot to short that was knocked down, but no play could be made.
With runners on first and second, Autum Sullivan hit a comebacker to Muehlenkamp. The pitcher’s throw to third was in time, but the third baseman’s foot was off the bag and all runners were safe.
Craig’s Sydney Cramer then delivered a line-drive single to center and when the hit was bobbled, Kalish was able to follow Kelly home for a 3-0 lead.
Craig scored its final two runs without a hit. Bayreuther walked and stole second. Perleberg then hit a shot to second that got through into the outfield.
Bayreuther rounded third and interference was called on the Parker third baseman. Bayreuther scored and Perleberg went to second.
Perleberg then stole third and scored on a short wild pitch.
“Except for that one inning, we played well defensively,” Seisser said.
“We ran the bases very well,” Coach Bayreuther said. “That is one thing we did do well. I wasn’t thrilled with our hitting, but the credit has to go to their pitchers. They were much improved from the first time.”
Craig, 10-3 in the Big Eight and 12-3 overall, travels to Madison East on Thursday.
Parker, 6-7 and 6-10, hosts co-Big Eight leader Madison La Follette at the Youth Sports Complex on Thursday.
CRAIG 5, PARKER 0
Parker 000 000 0—0 3 3
Craig 100 220 x—5 4 1
Muehlenkamp, Ross (5) and Henke; Weber and Sullivan.
SO—Muehlenkamp (JP) 2, Weber (JC) 6. BB—Ross (JP) 2.