By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
Two games were on tap Thursday night in the Portage County Women’s Softball League at beautiful Iverson Park.
Week three action saw Graffiti’s (2-0) down Team Biadasz (1-2), 18-14, and Rookies Royals (3-0) manhandled Rough Rookies, 23-7 Both games were played under perfect softball weather conditions.
As the score indicated, the first game was a slug-fest. Graffiti’s amassed 25 hits while Team Biadasz came up with 21. Each team also bashed three home runs. Graffiti’s scored two runs in the first on singles by Nicole Ihrcke, Cheyenne Hahn, Kristen Felts, Liz Morrison, and Kayla Keepers.
Team Biadasz got one run back in the bottom of the first on base hits by Julie Peskie, Ashlynn Plaski, and Melissa “1818” Dombrowski. Two more came in during the second frame for Graffiti’s on singles by Chelsey Vidal, Ihrcke, Hahn, and Mak Lee’s double Team Biadasz tied it at 4-4 with three runs thanks to Bria Hahn’s double and singles by Kim Schmitz, Michelle Zick, and Julie Peskie.
After Graffiti’s failed to score in the top of the third, Team Biadasz pushed across four runs to take a 8-4 lead. They had six straight singles by Abby Rottier, Kim Schmitz, Michelle Zick, Amanda Kawlewski, Niccole Plaski, and Bria Hahn. Graffiti’s sent five runners across the plate in the fourth as Chelsey Vidal, Nicole Ihrcke, Hailee Fuller, Liz Morrison, and Dana Krug each singled while Kristen Felts walked and Mak Lee doubled. 9-8 Graffiti’s
Meg Lee’s solo homer to left tied it back up, 9-9. It was the first homer in the PCWSL’s brief history. But it certainly wasn’t the last home run of the evening. League founder Erin Laffe explained, “The league rules indicated that the home run marker could be set at 200 feet with the option to extend it by 25 more feet if desired. Next week we’re moving the fences back.”
Neither team scored in the fifth. Graffiti’s, however, had a monster inning in the top of the sixth with nine big runs. Kayla Keepers and Dana Krug smacked back-to-back homers and Mak Lee also went yard with a three-run blast.
Mixed in were a walk to Liz Morrison and base hits by Hailee Fuller, Liz Morrison, Chelsey Vidal, Nicole Ihrcke, Cheyenne Hahn, and Fuller’s second single of the inning. Kim Schmitz of Team Biadasz lamented, “Those three home runs in the inning by Graffiti’s pretty much did us in.”
Team Biadasz used the long ball themselves to score five runs in their half of the sixth. Meg Lee hit her second homer of the game, a two-run dinger, and Michelle Zick hit a three-run round-tripper four batters later. Your final score was 18-14 Graffiti’s.
Jesse ‘The Legend” Higgins was the home plate umpire while Corey Blake ruled the bases. Visitor Jim Billings of Final Score manned the scoreboard. Billings said: “Geez, those two teams combined for 32 runs and six homers! I was afraid I might blow out the scoreboard!”
A nice-sized crowd was on hand, and the National Anthem was played prior to the game.
TEAM BIADASZ BATTING STATS: Bria Hahn: double, single; Julie Peskie: two singles; Ashlynn Plaski: two singles; Meg Lee: solo homer in fourth, two-run homer in sixth; Melissa Dombrowski: two singles, spectacular catch in left; Abby Rottier: two singles; Kim Schmitz: two singles, double; Michelle Zick: two singles, three-run homer in sixth; Amanda Kawlewski: two singles; Niccole Plaski: single.
GRAFFITI’S BATTING STATS: Nicole Ihrcke: five singles; Cheyenne Hahn: three singles; Kristen Felts: single, walk, winning pitcher. Mak Lee: two doubles, solo homer in sixth; Hailee Fuller: three singles; Liz Morrison: three singles, two walks; Kayla Keepers: single, three-run homer in sixth; Dana Krug: single, solo homer in sixth; Chelsey Vidal: three singles.
TIME OF GAME: 1 hour, 10 minutes.
Toni Gaddo replaced Jim Billings in the score booth and Rookie’s Royals went nuts in the first two innings against the Rough Rookie’s. The Royals started the game with ten big runs in the first. Birthday girl Becky Kurszewski had two singles in the inning and Samantha Zommers and Jenna Lewandowski both walked and singled.
Nicole Kirsch and Mary Lane also walked while Erin Laffe, Beke Blue, and someone else singled and Valerie Folan belted a grand slam homer to left. Liz Zinda and Andrea Stroik each singled in the first for Rough Rookies but they were both left stranded.
The Royals came up with nine more runs in the second. Winning pitcher Beke Blue and Amy Kurszewski each singled twice in the inning as four more players had hits and Jenna Lewandowski rapped a grand-slam homer, the Royals’ second grand slam of the evening.
The Rough Rookies got on the board with four runs in the third. The key hits were singles by Kaitlyn Knutson, Liz Zinda, Courtney Erdman, Andrea Stroik, and Katie Platta. They also scored three runs in the fifth on singles by Katie Platta, Alaina Rustad, and Cheyenns Zabowa mixed in with doubles by Courtney Erdman and Andrea Stroik. In all, Rookie’s Royals had 25 hits and two grand slam homers while Rough Rookies posted 13 hits and four walks.
Jenna Lewandowski almost hit for the cycle. She had a walk, single, double, and home run and came to bat in the fifth needing a triple. She then hit a long fly to right which dropped in but settled for a double, thus blowing the chance to win a Toyota Corolla. Drew Lemke, Erin Laffe, and Corey Blake did an outstanding job of getting the field ready.
League founder Erin Laffe said, “If we have to come out here hours earlier, if that what it takes, then we’ll be here.” ROUGH ROOKIE’S BATTING STATS: Stacey Zarecki: two walks; Liz Zinda: two singles; Courtney Erdman:
single, double; Andrea Stroik: two singles, double; Katie Platta: two singles; Alaina Rustad: walk, single; Cheyenne Zabowa: single; Kaitlyn Knutson: two singles, walk.
ROOKIES ROYALS BATTING STATS: Becky Kurszewski: (Birthday), four singles, double; Samantha Zommers: two singles, double, walk; Nicole Kirsch: two walks; Jenna Lewandowski: walk, single, grand-slam homer in second, two doubles; Valerie Folan: Grand slam homer in first, two singles; Erin Laffe: single, run, great catch in left; Beke Blue: four singles; Amy Kurszewski: three singles; Brittany Pepowski: two singles; Mary Lane: two walks, run.
TIME OF GAME: 1 hour five minutes.
PORTAGE COUNTY WOMEN’S SOFTBALL LEAGUE STANDINGS: Rookies Royals: 3-0. Graffiti’s: 2-0. Team Biadasz: 1-2. Rough Rookies: 1-2. Post Road Pub Punishers: 0-3.
NEXT WEEK’S SCHEDULE (Triple-header): September 22 at Iverson: 6:30: Rookies Royals vs Graffiti’s; 7:30: Team Biadasz vs Post Road Pub Punishers; 8:30: Rough Rookies vs Graffiti’s.