Softball team wins district rematch
Squaring up against an undefeated, and defending league and District 11 champion, the Pleasant Valley team knew it had to play close to flawless softball to take down Parkland Monday night under the lights at Parkland High School.
But unforced errors prevented that from happening. Four errors, and 12 walks by Bears pitchers allowed the Trojans to take a big lead and a 9-1 victory in a rematch of last year's District 11 Class AAAA championship game.
Pleasant Valley, which fell to Parkland 6-1 in last year's final, was right there with the Trojans for the first three innings. It was 1-0 entering the bottom of the fourth. But that is when Parkland (8-0 overall) broke the game open.
After Sam Pickar led off with a single, the next two batters were put on via bases on balls. Taylor Knappenberger (2-for-5, four RBIs) tripled to the right center-field wall and cleared the bases. She then scored on a groundout for a four-run inning and a 5-0 lead heading into the fifth.
The junior Knappenberger went from hitting last in the lineup to first in just a year's time.
"It's different seeing the pitcher first and you have to tell your teammates what the pitcher is like," said Knappenberger. "I just look for my pitch and try to be patient."
Cassie Hill, who finished 2-for-3 on the night, came around to score on a Jenna Scheller RBI groundout in the top of the seventh for the Bears only run.
Sophomore starting pitcher Aubree Fritzinger went six strong innings, allowing just two hits in another shout out effort. Knappenberger's two hits (a triple and a single) both brought in runs, as her fourth-inning triple emptied the bases in a four-run inning that broke the game wide open for the Trojans.
Chelsea Morgan brought in Parkland's first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the third inning, which brought home Emma Varrato.
Beginning with their trip to Florida in late March, the Trojans bats have been hot. They have scored eight runs or more in seven of the first eight games they've played this season. And Fritzinger, on the mound, has did her part to keep them ahead every game.
"She's doing amazing, especially for a sophomore," said Knappenberger. "We feel good about ourselves right now."
Madison Marshall finished 2-3 on the night.