Freeland’s return sparks Jays; Lakeside outduels Whitewater
DEERFIELD —?Overcoming a little adversity and recording a victory over a rival, not a bad way to open a season. In fact, for the Cambridge High School softball team, it was just about perfect.
With 15 rostered underclassmen, the Lady Blue Jays may be young, but they didn’t look like it Tuesday afternoon, vanquishing a two-run first-inning deficit with a six-run fifth as they downed Deerfield by a final score of 12-6.
“I’m real proud of these girls,” Cambridge coach Dean Freeland said. “We have 13 freshmen and two sophomores, everyone’s new. These kids are real young and real raw, but they came up hacking tonight. We made some mistakes, but we put the ball in play tonight and Sierra Freeland, in seven innings, pitched really well.”
Sierra Freeland, back in the ace role for the first time since undergoing labrum surgery as a sophomore, was solid in her senior debut, going the distance for the first in two years while notching seven strikeouts to earn the win.
“She was a pitcher for us her freshman year, but we haven’t been able to use her,” coach Freeland said. “She had major labrum surgery as a sophomore, so she didn’t pitch her sophomore year and very little last year. So I was impressed with the way she competed. She threw a lot of strikes for us tonight and kept us in the game.”
Freeland gave up two first-inning runs as Deerfield surged ahead 2-0, but the Blue Jays’ senior settled down as the game went along, only giving up two more earned runs the rest of the way. The pitcher helped herself at the plate as well, hitting two singles and scoring two runs.
Helped along by a Freeland single and several defensive lapses by the home side, Cambridge put its first six batters on base in the third inning, notching three runs in the process to pull ahead 3-2.
After the Demons reciprocated with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, the Blue Jays finally opened the floodgates in the fifth, denting the scoreboard for six runs, four of which came with two outs to take control of the game, up 9-3.
Cierra Peters led the way in a balanced offensive attack that saw eight Blue Jays notch hits. Peters had three of them including a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
“Just a really good effort,” coach Freeland said. “Katie Korth hit the ball tonight and, really, all my seniors and juniors were phenomenal. Katie, Megan Campbell, Sierra Freeland, Syd Farruggio, they all did a wonderful job. And the freshmen coming up, Cierra Peters and Gracie Korth and Ashlynn Jarlsberg, they all got hits. I was real happy with that.”
Cambridge will look to build on the win Thursday when it goes on the road to take on Johnson Creek at 5 p.m.
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 13
Kelsey Birshbach’s run-scoring single highlighted a three-run sixth inning, and from there host Lakeside Lutheran held on for a 13-10 non-conference win over Whitewater in a battle of Jefferson County programs Tuesday.
Birschbach stepped to the plate with teammate Brett Burger on third and delivered a solid single, her third RBI of the game, staking the Warriors (1-0) to a 13-8 lead.
The three-run inning proved to be big as the Whippets (0-1) rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh, before Burger slammed the door.
Burger went the distance striking out seven while walking seven to earn the win.
Birschbach went 2-for-3 with the aforementioned three RBIs to lead LLHS at the plate.
The win overshadowed a terrific night for Whitewater’s Alyssa Schumacher, who went 4-for-4 with six RBIs two coming on a fourth-inning home run.
Whitewater begins Rock Valley Conference play Thursday traveling to Beloit Turner. The first pitch is set for 4:45 p.m.
Lakeside Lutheran will play another non-conference game Friday, hosting Mayville in a 5 p.m. start.