Nicole Newman strikes out 15 to topple Craig

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Gazette staff
Monday, May 5, 2014

Nicole Newman left Janesville Craig with one last parting shot.

Madison La Follette’s star softball pitcher has owned the Big Eight Conference for much of the past four seasons. Newman earned a little redemption for an earlier-season loss to the Cougars by striking them out 15 times in a 2-0 victory at the Janesville Youth Sports Complex on Monday night.

“You never want to strike out 15 times, but she’s that good,” Craig coach Dan Bayreuther said. “I told her after the game I’m sorry to see her go but also not sorry. She’s just fun to watch and a good pitcher.”

Newman allowed just two hits and didn’t walk a batter. The Cougars got a runner to second in the second inning but didn’t advance any farther, and junior Al Hughes’ two-out triple in the sixth went unrewarded.

Craig freshman Jenna Brandt didn’t back down. The Cougars pitcher went the distance, allowing six hits, no walks and two unearned runs. Brandt struck out four.

“She kept us in it and hung in there in the sixth inning,” Bayreuther said of the frame where Craig committed both of its fielding errors. “It could’ve been worse; they left the bases loaded. Outside of that inning we did a pretty good job.”

The Cougars, who fell to 8-6 overall and 7-5 in the Big Eight, play at Middleton today.

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