Remington Stark waited more than a year to take on Beloit Turner.
The Orfordville Parkview junior pitcher never got to face the Trojans in a softball game last spring, because the scheduled nonconference clash was cancelled due to weather.
Stark got a 70-degree, early-April day Monday, and she and her Vikings teammates took full advantage of it.
Stark struck out 17 batters in a complete-game four-hitter, and every player in the Parkview lineup either scored or drove in a run in a 7-1 victory at Turner High.
“I’ve been waiting for this one,” Stark said. “I know some of these girls. They are such a strong team, and because we’re two divisions below (them), it’s more motivation.
“We’re from the little town over there, and no one really knows. So coming in and beating the big dogs is big.”
Stark, a second-team all-state selection by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association a year ago, is off to another solid start, including a three-inning perfect game with nine strikeouts last week.
On Monday, she battled through just two stressful innings, but she had been staked to a seven-run lead by that point.
“She set some high standards and high goals in the offseason and has worked really hard to get there,” Parkview coach Ally Steinke said. “We’ll see how it goes, but we do have high expectations.”
After two scoreless innings to start the game, Parkview broke through in the third, scoring five runs—all of them with two outs and following a couple mental errors by Turner.
The Trojans failed to attempt to get a double play that could have ended the inning. One batter later, with runners on second and third and two outs, sophomore Sidda Meyers hit a grounder to Turner shortstop Gabby Gaziano. Gaziano attempt to tag the runner going from second to third, but the runner halted. Gaziano then attempted to throw to first base, but Meyers beat the throw.
“We had one mental error, and then they score five runs after that,” Turner coach Regan Peters said. “We should have been out of the inning.”
Hunter Baars and Payton Stark each followed with run-scoring singles, and catcher Christina Stark belted a two-run double to the left-field gap.
“It’s a key to our success, getting runners on,” Steinke said. “We know defensively that we have a couple key plays we need to make every game. But those are probably going to be limited when you have an ace on the mound, so we’ve got to score runs and get people on base.”
Lilly Boyd opened the top of the fourth inning with a double and scored on Lauren Hammes’ single to make it 6-0.
Remington Stark helped her own cause with a leadoff double in the fifth, and she scored on Meyer’s single to center.
Parkview posted 14 hits overall, including three doubles. Sophomore third baseman Abbi Butzler went 3-for-4.
Meanwhile, Remington Stark cruised until the fifth inning, when she had runners on the corners with just one out. She got her 12th strikeout and induced a groundout to get out of the jam.
In the sixth, Turner scored a two-out run of its own on Gaziano’s triple to the right-field gap—easily the hardest-hit ball of the day off Stark.
“To me, in my opinion, they (our players) looked scared to bat,” Peters said. “She’s a very good pitcher, but we can hit her. ... You have to have to have confidence when you get up there. She didn’t walk anybody, so why are watching third strikes?
“I think it’s just coming together as a team and using that support from one another to build some confidence.”
Conversely, Parkview seems to be brimming with confidence early in the spring season.
The Vikings are 4-1, all in nonconference games. The lone loss was 5-2 to Poynette, last year’s WIAA Division 3 state champion.
“We’re supposed to be really good, so the goal is to keep pushing through that and go as far as we can,” Stark said. “It’s been quite a while since Parkview softball has done anything like that.
“To go out and put your name out there and be the school that comes through and beats the D2 teams or D3 teams, it’s just big.”
PARKVIEW 7, TURNER 1
Orfordville Parkview 005 110 0—7 14 0
Beloit Turner 000 001 0—1 4 2
R. Stark and C. Stark; Conkle and Jordan.
Leading hitters—Butzler (P) 3x4, R. Stark 2x4, Meyers (P) 2x4, Baars (P) 2x4, C. Stark (P) 2x3. 2B—R. Stark, C. Stark, Boyd. 3B—Gaziano.
SO—Stark 17, Conkle 3. BB—None.