As the second half of the Big Eight Conference softball season gets underway, Parker head coach Bob Getka is hoping his team can show off how much it has improved.
The Vikings did so Tuesday night, even in a losing effort.
Parker lost 11-3 to a Verona team that is unbeaten in league play and beat the Vikings 18-0 in the first meeting.
“We improved from last time, that’s for sure. Last time, we had a hard time even putting the ball in play,” Getka said. “Today we had a couple hits, and if we had a couple more maybe the game changes.”
The Wildcats led 8-0 through three innings before Parker got on the board with three in the fourth. Jeni Malphy and Lydia Quade each had doubles for the Vikings.
On a soft field, Parker was plagued by five errors resulting in six unearned runs.
“Good teams always take advantage of errors, and today Verona took big-time advantage of ours,” Getka said.
Parker will look for a season sweep of crosstown-rival Janesville Craig on Thursday afternoon.
VERONA 11, PARKER 3
Janesville Parker 000 300 0—3 6 5
Verona 134 120 x—11 10 2
Naber; Anderson, Bostley (6)
Leading hitters—McChesney (V) 2x3, Keyes (V) 2x3, Yazek (V) 2x4, Toman (V) 2x3. 2B—Malphy (P), Quade (P). 3B—McChesney, Toman.
SO—Naber 1, Anderson 6, Bostley 2. BB—Naber 3.
Beloit 6, Craig 1—The visiting Purple Knights scored in five of seven innings to earn a Big Eight win.
Beloit pitcher Brynn Swanson struck out 11 Craig hitters and allowed seven hits and four walks.
“We had seven hits, but they were in five different innings,” Craig coach Kristen Worm said. “It seems like the games we hit well the first inning, we have games with a lot of offense. But if they don’t hit right away, we don’t.
“Their pitcher was good enough to keep us off-balance. It seemed like we always had to protect. We got behind in the counts.”
Amanda Carlson went 2-for-2 for Craig, which will look to avenge a 4-1 loss to Parker when the teams meet Thursday.
BELOIT 6, CRAIG 1
Beloit Memorial 102 101 1—6 9 0
Janesville Craig 000 100 0—1 7 2
Swanson; Kealy, Lyle (7)
Leading hitters—Bittner (B) 3x4, Carlson (C) 2x2. 2B—Bittner, Ryan (B), Flint (C).
SO—Swanson 11, Kealy 3, Lyle 2. BB—Swanson 4, Kealy 1.