NORTHROP - Junior Erika Wobbrock blasted two of Cleveland's four home runs to surge the Clippers by the Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain Knights, 13-3 in five-inning Valley Conference softball action on Thursday in Northrop.
"This is my first year coaching softball, and like everyone else, we haven't been able to get outside and practice. So instead, we've been working on batting in the gym every day, making sure our swings are good," said Cleveland head coach Dan Fredrickson.
The Clippers' swings were right on target, with their offense erupting for 13 runs on 13 hits - six coming in the top half of the fifth.
OFF THE MITT — Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain runner Casha Spear collides with Cleveland catcher Kylie Krause as the throw to the plate caroms off Krause’s mitt during Valley Conference softball action Thursday in Northrop. Spear scored on the play. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Kylie Krause started the Clippers' scoring rally with a hit and wheeled to second on a Knights' throwing error. Megan Hobson moved Krause to third on a single and before Krause scored on Molly Zimmerman's RBI double to left field.
With Zimmerman on second base, Wobbock - who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs - stepped up and drilled an Amber Schulz delivery over the center-field fence for her second four-base knock of the game.
Cassidy Kopet followed with a solo shot over the left-field fence before Megan Gjemse completed the trifecta of homers with a blast to center.
"I've never seen anthing like that in person. For Erika, that was a bit of redemption. Last year she hit one here but didn't touch home and they called her out. This time she jumped on the plate, making sure she touched it," said Fredrickson.
Kopet, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored, helped her pitching cause in the second with a double into left to help Cleveland grab a 1-0 lead. Gjemse drew a walk to put runners on first and second before Anna Dickie hit a liner down the third baseline to load the bases.
Cleveland's Anna Ely pounded a hit to third to keep the bases loaded, but Kopet was forced out by Alexis Brummond's throw to Effie Bentz at the plate. Courtney Utzka also pounded a comebacker to Schulz, who threw to Bentz for another forceout at home.
The Clippers finally scored a run on Krause's infield hit, with Dickie motoring home from third.
Cleveland added three runs in the third to grab a 4-0 lead. Zimmerman scorched a single between Brummond and shortstop Amanda Schuder before scoring on Wobbrock's first blast of the day to left field.
Kopet then reached on an error, swiped second and wheeled home on a pair of passed balls.
"As a team, we are currently averaging just over nine runs per game. And so I think our batting work is paying off. It helps when you also have good pitching and defense, and today was a good win," said Fredrickson.
The Knights broke up the shutout in the third on Schulz's RBI single. Bentz hit a bloop single behind second before Hanna Geistfeld walked.
Bentz took third on a wild pitch before Schulz smacked an RBI hit over second base.
The bottom of the Knights' batting order added a pair of runs in the fourth. Kayley Shoen singled and took second as Casha Spear walked. Both runners advanced on a Clippers' wild pitch, and scored on a Payton Becker hit and error.
Zimmerman went 2-for-3 for the Clippers, scoring three runs and driving in one, while Krause went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI.
Kopet pitched all five innings, giving up three runs on four hits, striking out five and walking four in the win.
Schulz pitched all five innings the Knights, striking out two and walking five in the loss.
Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain (0-5) hosts Alden-Conger at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Northrop. Cleveland (3-2) hosts Maple River in a 3:30 p.m. conference game Monday.
Cleveland 013 36 - 13 13 2
MLGHEC 001 20 - 3 4 1
Cassidy Kopet (WP) and Kylie Krause. Amber Schulz (LP) and Effie Bentz.
LOB-Cleveland 7, ML/GHEC 3. 2B-Molly Zimmerman (C), Kopet (C). HR-Erika Wobbrook (C) 2, Kopet (C), Megan Gjemse (C).