At least as far as Heidelberg and Hanau are concerned, there’s a bit of a gap between Division I and II softball.

The Lady Lions, behind the pitching of Brittany Clark and Ashley Hamre, swept Hanau of Division II 15-0 and 21-1 Saturday in Hanau, Germany, in the opener for both teams.

Brittany Clark struck out 12 and held Hanau to three hits in the first game. She was backed by three hits and three RBIs by Linsday Clark and two hits and two RBIs each by Hamre and Jessica Anderson.

In the second game, Hope Fotter’s home run saved Hanau from a second straight shutout. The rest of the way, it was all Heidelberg. Hamre struck out six batters and Lindsay Clark collected three hits and three RBIs. Sam Lane also had three hits for Heidelberg.

Hanau is idle until it opens its Division II season April 2 at Bitburg; Heidelberg opens Division I play Saturday at Würzburg.

In other games Saturday:

Bitburg, Ramstein split

At Ramstein, Germany, two walks and a passed ball produced the winning run in the eighth inning as the Bitburg Lady Barons of Division II upset defending European Division I champion Ramstein 4-3.

Bitburg’s All-Europe second-teamer Ashley Kazimer went the distance for the victory, allowing seven hits and striking out six. She also had two hits and scored two runs.

The loss went to All-Europe first-teamer Victoria Apodaca, a senior, who allowed five hits and struck out nine.

Ramstein tied the game with a three-run sixth inning, but was unable to threaten afterward.

“We hit the ball all over the place, but we couldn’t seem to score,” Ramstein coach Kent Grosshuesch said.

The Lady Royals scored plenty in the second game, a 9-3 victory that went to freshman Jessica Apodaca. She struck out seven.

Jessica Renaud took the loss for Bitburg, which got a 3-for-3 effort from Amber Zagonina.

Next up for Ramstein is a home doubleheader Saturday against Lakenheath, the only team other than Ramstein to win Division I European titles since the school system began offering softball in 1999. Ramstein won the first year and Lakenheath took the next four titles before Ramstein broke through again in 2004.

Bitburg, which won every European Division II championship between 2000 and 2003, hosts Lakenheath on Friday. The Lady Barons host London Central, the European Division III champ, on April 1 before opening their Division II schedule against visiting Hanau on April 2.

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