When it comes to high school softball, size does matter. At least it did Friday and Saturday when defending European Division I champion Ramstein posted three shutouts, two of them no-hitters, against D-III and D-IV competition.
Ramstein’s Maddie Byrd and Lindsey Jones each tossed no-hitters Friday and downed visiting D-IV Alconbury 18-0 and 22-0. Jones came back Saturday to two-hit Division III foe Baumholder 12-0.
"Playing Division III teams does neither team any good," Ramstein coach Kent Grosshuesch lamented Friday in an e-mail, no doubt including D-IV teams in his assessment.
Friday’s winning pitchers Byrd and Jones each faced the minimum nine batters in throwing three-inning no-hitters.
Byrd, who struck out seven of the nine batters she faced, went 2-for-2 with a triple and a grand slam and knocked in six runs in the opener. She was backed by three RBIs each by Karis Wadsack, who went 3-for-4, and Charnel Austin, who finished 2-for-3.
Jones struck out eight of the nine Dragons she faced in the nightcap. Byrd knocked in four more runs in the romp, as did Becky Pletzer. Megan Stubblefield, who finished the game 3-for-4, drove in two runs.
Caitlin Cloum took both losses for Alconbury.
On Saturday at Baumholder, Jones pitched five innings and struck out five. Saturday’s second game was rained out.
Pletzer and Alexis Tremble each went 2-for-3. Pletzer drove in three runs and Tremble, who stroked two doubles, drove in two for Ramstein (3-0).
Michelle Zapata got one of Baumholder’s hits. Miranda Uriegas took the loss.
In other softball played through the rain:
Lakenheath 17-23, Kaiserslautern 0-2: On Friday at Kaiserslautern, Ali Parkerson won both games, pitching just one inning in the opener, called after Lakenheath’s 17-run first inning.
The Lancers parlayed nine walks, five hit batters, four hits and an error into the big inning, and in light of the weather conditions, umpires called the game after Parkerson retired the Lady Raiders in order in the bottom of the first.
Parkerson tossed a three-hitter in the nightcap and got all the run support she would need from a three-run homer by Lisa McBride.
Lakenheath 5-12, Bitburg 4-0: On Saturday at Bitburg, Parkerson won twice more, striking out 10 in the opener and five in the nightcap as the Lancers improved to 4-0.
In the opener, the Lady Barons cut a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 in the fifth on a three-run homer by Shannon Seely, but stranded two runners in the sixth.
Shortstop Alex Schmidt went 5-for-6 for Bitburg.
Naples 17-16, Sigonella 9-8: Saturday at Sigonella, Tony Ward homered and drove in three runs to help Naples overcome three doubles in four at-bats by Sigonella’s Liz Adams in the opener.
Aviano 19-21, Vicenza 1-7: On Saturday at Vicenza, Aviano’s Lizzie Bobzin pitched Aviano to victory in the opener.