DODDS-Europe Division I softball: Ramstein wins big over rival Kaiserslautern in title game
May 21, 2006
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Before Kaiserslautern had the chance to swing the bat, it already was down 13-0 to its cross-town rival.
Sometimes championship games go that way.
The Ramstein Lady Royals captured their fourth straight Division I crown Saturday with a 16-3 triumph over Kaiserslautern.
Umpires called the game after five innings because the run deferential between the two teams was 10 or more, though it likely would have ended early anyway due to inclement weather.
Ramstein advanced to the final game when it edged Lakenheath in a pool-play game earlier Saturday 6-5.
Kayla Haven, who pitched both games, picked up in the final where she left off against Lakenheath. After spotting the Lady Lancers a 5-0 lead, Haven settled down, shutting out Lakenheath and allowing her team a chance to rally and win.
No such rally was needed against Kaiserslautern.
“We finally put it together,” Ramstein coach Kent Grosshuesch said, referring to his team’s offense. And, he added, “we played good defense behind [Haven].”
Haven helped her own cause with four hits, including a pair of triples and a double. The 16-year-old sophomore also scored three runs and drove in several more.
Also helping out in a big way was senior Lindsey Dunn, who collected three hits and scored a couple of runs.
Aside from beating a cross-town rival, the victory was gratifying for Ramstein because Kaiserslautern had defeated the Lady Royals 8-7 earlier in the year-end tournament. Ramstein did rally in that game, but fell short.
“We just had a whole change of spirit,” Haven said as she accounted for the turnaround. “We knew they could beat us.”
Not on Saturday.
Ramstein nearly batted around the order twice in the first inning. Haven stroked a single and a triple, but virtually the entire team was in on the hit parade.
Offensively, Kaiserslautern was led by pitcher Kili Smith, who went 2-for-3, and first baseman Emily Badstibner, who had two hits and scored a run.
“Every game was tough,” Grosshuesch said of the tournament. “The whole first division was tougher this year.”