The ultimate goal for Elkhorn Area High’s softball team this season is to be a tough out come tournament time.
If the young Elks continue to play like they have been in arguably the state’s best conference, the goal seems very attainable.
Having the luxury of newly installed field turf at Elkhorn allowed the Elks to host Delavan-Darien in a Southern Lakes Conference game Thursday, while the majority of the area schedule was washed out. Thursday’s game was originally scheduled to be played in Darien at the Comets’ home park but was moved to Elkhorn in the afternoon.
Elkhorn banged out 16 hits and scored in every inning in a predictable 16-1 win over the Comets.
In improving to 9-3 overall, Elkhorn moved to 7-2 in the Southern Lakes and remained in first place.
“We’re running out of days, so it was good to get a game in,” Elkhorn coach Steve Remington said.
“It was nice of Delavan-Darien to agree to come over here and play, and then to stick around to make sure we got this one in.
“And we did some good things today. We swung the bats well and played well defensively. We’re still a pretty young team with only two seniors, so getting another win in a conference as tough as ours is good.”
The Elks wasted little time getting on the board. Playing as the visiting team, Elkhorn got a run in the top of the first before opening up a 6-0 lead in the second. Morgan Hunter and Macy Rocha, who both finished with three RBI, drove in a a run while two more came across on Delavan-Darien errors.
Elkhorn opened up in the third. The Elks sent 11 batters to the plate to score six runs and take a 12-0 lead. Four straight batters singled to start the inning, and Rocha’s second double of the game capped off the rally. Five of the nine Elkhorn batters had at least one RBI.
Maddy Harding led the hit parade for Elkhorn. The freshman and leadoff hitter was 4-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBI. Ryley Rand added three hits for the Elks.
Jasmin Speth had two hits for Delavan-Darien (1-10, 0-7) and scored the lone run. The Comets managed only three hits.
“We’re playing better competition hoping we can do something in the playoffs like we do every year,” Delavan-Darien coach Hank Johnson said.
The Comets play a majority of Division 1 opponents during the regular season but drop down to Division 2 for the tournament.
“And we’re a young team that is going to get better. We learn a lot more as a team by playing a game like we did today than we do practicing. Nothing beats live pitching.”
ELKHORN 16, DELAVAN-DARIEN 1 (5)
Elkhorn 156 22—16 16 1
Delavan-Darien 001 00—1 3 4
Crawford and Schliepp; Hoekstra, Speth (1) and Ruesch
Leading hitters—Harding (E) 4x4, Hunter (E) 2x3, Rocha (E) 2x3, Rudolf (E) 2x3, Rand (E) 3x4, Speth (DD) 2x2. 2B—Rocha 2, Harding, Speth, Anderson (DD).
SO—Crawford 5, Speth 5. BB—Crawford 2, Hoekstra 2, Speth 3