Wegner leads Elkhorn to sweep of Delavan-Darien
DARIEN--Elkhorn's young softball team is learning how to close out games.
The Elks lost six of their first eight games this season, and half of those losses were by one run.
Elkhorn has now won four straight games since, thanks to Izabella Regner's two-hit shutout Thursday at Delavan-Darien, a 5-0 victory in which the Elks scored four runs in the top of the seventh to pull away.
Elkhorn is 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the Southern Lakes Conference. The Comets fell to 7-10 and 3-7.
"We've had a lot of close games and lost a lot by one run or in extra innings, so that's what we've been working on, how to finish," Elks coach Steve Remington said. "I think they're starting to get it, which is pretty nice, because our whole team is pretty young."
For most of the seven innings, Regner and Delavan-Darien's Jaida Speth tangled in a duel.
Elkhorn freshman Morgan Hunter led off the game with a walk, stole second and scored on Whitney Salamone's flare up the middle. It was one of just three hits allowed by Speth in the first six innings.
Regner was even more steady, never allowing a runner to get as far as second base. She kept hitters honest with a rise ball, striking out five and walking none.
"She's a freshman, but she's even-keeled," Remington said. "There are no highs and no lows, which is exciting. That's only going to help her down the road."
Regner faced the minimum three hitters in four of seven innings, including the seventh after the Elks piled up insurance runs.
In their half of the seventh, the first three batters reached on two singles and an error before freshman second baseman Haley Remington blew the game open with a two-run line-drive single to right field that made it 4-0. Three batters later, Regner helped her own cause with an RBI double to the left-field fence.
"We played pretty good (Wednesday) against Wilmot, but their pitcher did a good job today," Comets coach Hank Johnson said, referencing a doubleheader split with the Demons.
"It's been a blending experience for us," added Johnson, whose team advanced to the WIAA Division 2 state championship game last year. "We've got some older girls that have played a lot of ball and some younger girls who have never played. We're learning together, and our defense has improved greatly. You've just got to put it all together to win in the Southern Lakes."
Steve Remington hopes his team is on the verge of doing that on a consistent basis.
The Elks' goal this year was to go .500 as a Division 2 team playing up in a league that consistently sends a team to the D1 state tournament.
Elkhorn, which now has a season sweep of Delavan-Darien on its resume, could put itself in good position to do that if it can find success in a doubleheader against Waterford today.
"We won the first game with Delavan in the bottom of the seventh, and the girls know they've got to get up for it," Remington said. "That's what we've been working on. We had Westosha beat, up 2-0, but freshmen get a little nervous, and balls start going through their legs, and mistakes they don't make were happening.
"Those were the tight games we lost. Now we're figuring out how to win, and that's exciting."
ELKHORN 5, DELAVAN-DARIEN 0
Elkhorn 100 000 4—5 7 1
Delavan-Darien 000 000 0—0 2 1
Regner and Shawback; Jai. Speth and Huber
Leading hitters--Remington (E) 2x3. 2B--Regner (E).
SO--Regner 5, Speth 3. BB--Speth 5.
Last updated: 11:47 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017