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Red hot bats counter April chills for Wildcat softball squad

By Collin Glomstead
posted April 18, 2011

Hot starts in cold weather � that appears to be the motto for the softball squad, which has erupted with three impressive games right out of the gate. The Wildcats swept Menasha April 14, 7-2 and 17-0.

�We knew we had better pitching and we knew we could hold our own that way, but we wanted to take a look at as many situations and people as possible at the varsity level,� said varsity head coach John Kloehn. �We just plotted things beforehand and then we played players where we thought they could help us and then we ran with it.�

The first game served as a confidence booster. However, the fireworks did not begin until the second match.

�The second game, we just lit it up and we had something like 15 hits,� said Kloehn. �Seven of them were doubles and that was a pretty good combination.�

Junior Christina Gerharz attributes the blowout to sheer focus.

�During our second game, we hit the ball well and made sure to get outs when the ball was put in play,� she said.

The two victories came just two days after a loss to Appleton East, a hard fought contest.

�They are kind of highly rated and we took it to them right to the end,� Kloehn said. �We tied them up in the seventh and it slipped away on us.�

The Wildcats gained valuable experience, though, that will help them progress later in the season.

�We know that we can play with anybody, anywhere, anytime,� said Kloehn.

�Appleton East and Kaukauna are probably the top two teams in our conference and we won�t be afraid to play them.�

The Wildcats have recently struggled to overcome the injury bug.

�[Senior] Erin Collins has a bad shoulder right now and that really set us back quite a bit because she�s one of the outfielders and she�s also our team leader,� Kloehn said. �We�re just kind of biding time until she gets better.�

Despite the injuries, Kloehn is thankful for versatility.

�We can interchange people very quick and we�ve got talent,� he said. �It�s a good little set up right now because we�ve got seniors, and we�ve got underclassmen that can step right in.�

Along with flexibility, the team members have a great amount of respect for each other.

�Most of us have been playing together for a while and that bond really helps us communicate on the field and let�s us make key plays,� said Gerharz.

The seniors are a valuable asset that helps push the team forward.

�It�s early and we�ve got a lot of good seniors in there right now,� said Kloehn. �I think we can hit the ball, we�ve got pitching and we�re very competitive within our practice.�

Even though the Wildcats look to be in a promising situation, there is always room for improvement.

�We want to be able to make our opponents throw the ball around and cause them to make decisions that could benefit us,� said Gerharz

Although thoughts of a state championship have been pondered, they plan to remain focused on the present.

�Our ultimate goal is to make it down to Madison, but we know we have to take it one game at a time and keep winning,� said Gerharz.

Kloehn agreed.

�Come regionals and sectionals, anything can happen,� he said. �We�re not afraid to play anybody, and I wouldn�t be surprised if we did very very well.�


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Sophomore Calle Troutfetter winds up to pitch against Oshkosh North on Friday, April 8.

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