Timely hitting and solid defense helped the New London softball team start the season on a positive note with a 4-1 win over Weyauwega-Fremont on Tuesday, March 24.
A good crowd of fans turned out despite chilly weather to watch the non-conference battle at Memorial Park.
The Indians posted a 6-7 record in the Central Wisconsin-8 Conference last year, while the Bulldogs notched an 11-5 mark in the Bay Conference and earned State runner-up honors in Division 2 last season.
Cool temperatures may have contributed to a slow start for both teams, as neither team recorded a hit until the third inning. Weyauwega-Fremont struck first with a single in the top of the third, but that runner made the third out of the inning while trying to advance to third base on a ground ball to the right side of the infield.
New London answered in the bottom of the third inning with a couple hits and smart base running to score all the runs they would need to win the game. The score sat at 4-0 after three innings of play.
Weyauwega-Fremont sent the top of the order to the plate in the top of the fourth inning, managing to score one run before the Bulldog defense ended the threat.
Good pitching and strong defense took over the game from that point on, as neither team scored over the remaining three innings of play.
The Lady Bulldog offense cranked out seven hits in the game, while the Indians tallied five hits. New London stranded nine base runners, while Weyauwega-Fremont stranded six. The Lady Bulldogs committed one error.
Alanna Beyer led New London, going 2 for 3 at the plate with one run scored and one run batted in. Payton Mix was 1 for 3 with one run scored and two runs batted in, while Abby Elsholtz was 1 for 3 with one run batted in. Molly O’Connell and Grace Mroczynski added one hit apiece, and Mroczynski scored one run for New London. Shelby Sommer added a sacrifice bunt. Beyer, Sommer, Payton Mix and Leah Porath all drew walks as well.
Sommer pitched four innings for New London, allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts. Molly O’Connell pitched three innings, allowing one hit with four walks and two strikeouts.
The Bulldogs will open Bay Conference play at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, with at game at West De Pere, weather permitting. The Bulldogs’ next home game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, against Oconto Falls.