Despite scoring 31 runs in a win over Madison West on Tuesday, Janesville Craig softball coach Kristen Worm was much more impressed with her team’s performance against the Regents on Thursday.
The Cougars were flawless defensively and got an outstanding start in the circle from freshman Bailey Bienema in an 8-1 win over West in a Big Eight Conference game at the Youth Sports Complex.
Worm felt her team lost focus in Tuesday’s lopsided win but praised her team’s play Thursday.
“We talked last night at practice about maintaining focus, and they met every expectation I had tonight,” Worm said. “I can’t say enough about the character of this group and how they responded tonight.
“They listened and took to heart what we were trying to get across to them about how important it is to remained focused at all times, no matter what the score is. They did everything we asked of them.”
Craig (2-2) got a run in the bottom of the first inning.
Presley Stanley drove home the run with a double. The Cougars added four more in the second. Morgan Bloomquist’s two-run double capped the second-inning rally.
Bienema was in complete control the entire game. The right-hander struck out seven and walked only one. She retired the side in order in three of the six innings she pitched.
“Bailey pitched great and threw strikes,” Worm said. “That’s the most important thing. And the defense played well behind.
“It was a great effort going into our game tomorrow night. I’m so proud of them.”
Craig made it 6-0 in the third on Madelyn Mayer’s RBI single and stretched the lead to 8-0 in the fourth on RBI singles from Bienema and Mayer.
The Cougars finished with 10 hits, including three from Mayer.
Craig hosts Lake Geneva Badger in a nonconference game today at the Youth Sports Complex.
CRAIG 8, WEST 1
Madison West 000 001 0—1 4 2
Janesville Craig 141 200 x—8 10 0
Millman; Bienema, Stanley (7) and Bloomquist
Leading hitters—Rammer (C) 2x4, Bienema (C) 2x4, Mayer 3x4. 2B—Bloomquist (C), Stanley (C)
SO—Millmann 6, Bienema 7, Stanley 1. BB—Millmann 2, Bienema 1