The Waconia softball team seems to be taking out their frustration from not being able to play last season on the softballs this year. The Wildcats followed up a four-home run first week with three doubles in the eighth inning against Jordan in the second week, putting power behind their swings to send the ball to the fence.
Waconia has averaged eight runs per game this season and almost reached that mark in one inning against the Jaguars when it mattered most, pulling out a 14-9 extra-inning win April 22.
With the game knotted at 9-9 at the top of the eighth, the Wildcats ended what was a close game with an explosive inning that had the ‘Cats win by five. Nicole Weinberger and Heather Grengs started the inning with back-to-back doubles to give Waconia a one-run edge, before the hits kept coming to thwart any attempts at a comeback in the bottom half of the inning. Tori Schreiner walked and Olivia Heyer knocked in a run on a single. Lyndsey Braun hit the third double of the inning to send two more runs home, before Megan Meyer batted in the fifth and final run of the inning. The five runs were more than enough as Kaylee Barrieau closed out the complete game win by sitting down all three batters she faced.
Weinberger hit her second home run of the week for a team-high three RBIs, while Sophia Kuntz also homered to give Waconia seven homers in five games. Kuntz had two RBIs, as did Braun. Meyer, Schreiner, Grengs and Heyer each had one RBI. Grengs and Kuntz led the team in hits with four each, while Braun, Heyer and Weinberger all had two and Schreiner had one. Schreiner walked three times, Ellana Keaveny walked twice to score two runs and Weinberger walked once.
Waconia book-ended the game with 11 total runs in the first two innings and the final one. Weinberger walked and Grengs singled to lead to an RBI double from Schreiner and a run scored on a wild pitch in the first inning. Then in the second, Braun and Kuntz both singled and Keaveny walked to load the bases, and the only thing that robbed Weinberger of a grand slam was a wild pitch that sent a runner across the plate, meaning the catcher only scored three runs when she sent the ball out of the park.
Waconia 5 Holy Family 6
The Wildcats’ bats also punished the opposing defense in the April 20 game against the Fire to the tune of 12 hits, but the runs did not come as often as Waconia would have liked, forcing the ‘Cats to get creative on the basepaths with two successful steals of home base. Both Kuntz and Sammy Brueggemeier stole home to score runs, giving Waconia four total steals when combined with another steal from Kuntz and one from Braun.
The Wildcats found themselves down 6-0 before scoring their first run, when Kuntz doubled in the lead-off spot before stealing home to get Waconia on the board in the third.
The ‘Cats then nearly pulled off the comeback in the fifth with four more runs, falling just one run shy of knotting the game. Brueggemeier and Kuntz both singled to start the rally, with a double steal scoring one run and Keaveny batting in another. Weinberger then batted in two more runs on a home run to put the final score at 6-5.
Grengs and Kuntz led the team in hits with three each, while Meyer, Keaveny, Weinberger, Braun, Heyer and Brueggemeier each had one. Weinberger drove in three runs, with Meyer and Keaveny having the other two RBIs.