Sheboygan North’s offense slowly picked up speed, the defense occasionally kept them out of trouble and the Golden Raiders softball team preserved a long winning streak over cross-town rival Sheboygan South on Tuesday.
South’s batters scattered 10 hits against North freshman Raven Gmach, who got help from the rest of the defense to give the Raiders an 11-4 win at home, pushing the team’s string of consecutive wins in the intra-city series to 18.
South’s bats caught fire early, driving in three runs to start the first inning for an early lead. North’s offense, meanwhile, took an inning or two to pick up momentum — the Raiders scored a run each in the bottom of the first and second before pouring in nine runs over the last four innings.
But it was North’s defense that helped ensure the Raiders didn’t leave home empty-handed. South, which had momentum through the first two-and-a-half frames, looked poised to pile on a few more runs in the top of the second inning after two hits and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. But solid infield play by North — including a double play — kept South scoreless in the inning and seemed to put a stop to the Redwings’ early momentum.
“I’ll have to go back through the stats, but I’m willing to bet that we had more base runners than they did,” said South coach Darren Weimann, who said he was generally pleased with his team’s offense — but noted the Redwings struggled all afternoon to find ways past North’s D.
“Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way,” Weimann added. “Like I said, I have no regrets with the way our girls hit the ball. A couple bounces here or there and maybe it’s different.”
North turned in an unusual triple play in the fifth, when shortstop Jordan Wilke caught a line drive and tagged out Erika Trumm at second base before throwing out Ashley Anderson at first.
“The triple play was huge,” North coach Josh Hoffer said.
“We hit ’em so many balls right at ’em,” Weimann said. “… And kudos to them for making the plays.”
Erica Brahan led North’s offense with three hits on four at-bats and three runs batted in. Allie Spaulding complemented with a 2-of-3 performance and 2 RBI.
Gmach registered five strikeouts and didn’t give up an earned run in seven innings in North’s pitchers circle.
“She’s pitched so long, she just doesn’t really know anything else other than being on the mound,” Hoffer said of Gmach. “And she’s been through every situation you can possibly be through already as a freshman.”
Kimberlee Weimann gave up nine hits, seven earned runs and tallied eight strikeouts in all six innings in South’s circle. She led the Redwings’ offense, too, knocking three doubles and a single on four at-bats. Trumm registered a single and a double on three at-bats.
North beat South last month in both teams’ only other regular season matchup. The Raiders (9-4, 6-3 Fox River Classic Conference) have now won 18 straight over their rivals (4-8, 2-6 FRCC).
“It is what it is,” Darren Weimann said. “Kudos to North — and who knows, maybe if we can go on a run here at the end we can see ’em again in the playoffs.”