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Heights softball hanging tough


April 18, 2019

Bethany Wood

Jada Wood and Wisconsin Heights' girls softball team are off to a solid start.

April in Wisconsin can be nightmarish.

Rain, snow, sleet, wind.

It can all wreak havoc with spring sports.

Wisconsin Heights' girls softball team felt the effects last week. But the Vanguards were able to get in four games between April 5-8.

Here's a recap of those games.

Wisconsin Heights 3, River Valley 0 - Tayler Kraemer pitched a two-hit shutout and Kourtney Mercer blasted a two-run home run to center field to power the Vanguards to a win on April 5.

Jada Wood walked to open the game, stole second and scored on Tayler Kraemer's RBI single to give Heights a 1-0 lead. In the third inning, Kraemer walked and Mercer homered to give the Vanguards a 3-0 lead.

Kraemer threw a complete game, finishing with nine strikeouts and just one walk. Miranda Keith went 2-for-4 to lead the offense.

"Defensively the team was pretty solid with two errors, but made some key defensive plays," Heights coach Dennis Wood said. "River Valley has a good team and to take a game from them is tough to do."

• Thorp 7, Wisconsin Heights 6 - Thorp reached the WIAA Division 4 state tournament in 2018, and the Vanguards gave the Cardinals all they could handle on April 6.

The Vanguards had 10 hits off of Thorp's top pitcher.

Miranda Keith went 3-for-3, while Jada Wood was 2-for-4. Sydnee Duhr was 2-for-4, while Keith and Mercer both doubled and Jada Wood tripled to deep right field.

"Two costly errors kept the game out of reach," Dennis Wood said. "When playing good teams an error is magnified, placing undo pressure on the defense."

Jada Wood tripled in the first inning and Keith had an RBI.

Kaya Teela led off the second inning with a walk and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jada Wood.

In the fourth, Alycia Hosking bunted for hit, advanced on Jada Wood's base hit to left field and scored when Kraemer had a bunt single. Duhr's hard shot to the second baseman turned into an error and scored Wood.

In the sixth, Mercer had a leadoff double, Keith doubled to score Mercer, and Duhr had an RBI single. Unfortunately for the Vanguards, though, that was all the offense they could muster.

"We needed a clutch hit with Duhr on second, but our execution did not meet our expectations," Dennis Wood said.

Kraemer finished with 10 strikeouts and just one walk.

• Poynette 8, Wisconsin Heights 3 (8) - The Pumas, the defending WIAA Division 3 state champion, scored five runs in the eighth to prevail on April 6.

Poynette scored three runs in the first, before Tayler Kraemer and Kelsie Drager held the Pumas scoreless through the next six innings.

Heights tied the game in the seventh with a double by Kraemer, an intentional walk to Miranda Keith and an RBI single by Sydnee Duhr.

Kraemer went 4-for-4 at the plate, while Jada Wood and Riley Lynch were both 2-for-4. Miranda Keith also doubled in two runs.

"We were looking for tough competition to judge our team's capabilities," Dennis Wood said. "With the exception of two errors in each game against Thorp and Poynette, the coaches were pleased with the overall play both on defense and offense."

Wisconsin Heights 8, Cambridge 1 - Tayler Kraemer pitched a complete game and picked up the win on April 8. Kraemer struck out nine, walked two and hit one batter.

Sydnee Duhr led the offense, going 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Jada Wood went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, while Miranda Keith went 2-for-4, scored twice and had an RBI.

"This was our best defensive effort of the year with zero errors," Dennis Wood said. "It's taken a few games to solidify the positions, but we have a real good feel for the defense at this time.

"The team hitting has been really good along with base running being very aggressive. Our two loses were against really tough competition, so I like our chances going forward."


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