A remarkably competitive DODEA-Europe Division I baseball season produced a new showpiece on Saturday.
The Wiesbaden Warriors and Kaiserslautern Raiders battled to a hard-fought doubleheader split that exemplified this spring’s unprecedented parity on the baseball diamond. Host Wiesbaden won the opener 5-4, while Kaiserslautern rallied for a 9-8 victory in the late game.
Warrior ace Gunner Yingling threw a gem in the opener, allowing a run on three hits while striking out 13 Raiders in six standout innings. But the Raiders pounced on the Wiesbaden bullpen as Nolan Sherman smacked a three-run double in the seventh inning. The Warriors scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win.
Finn Swafford led the Warriors with a pair of RBI in the opener.
The Warriors launched a rally in hopes of a sweep in the second game, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at eight. But a game-winning single by Matthew McKeag finished the job for the Raiders in the bottom half of the inning.
McKeag drove in four runs on the day while also striking out three Warriors over three innings on the mound.
With a win apiece Saturday, the Raiders and Warriors remain squarely in the mix of contenders hoping to unseat the four-time defending champion Ramstein Royals.
Ramstein’s scheduled doubleheader with Vilseck was rained out Saturday and rescheduled for May 20.
Vicenza 11/19, Aviano 1/5: Saturday at Vicenza, the Cougars stopped a season-opening losing streak with a pair of double-digit wins over the Saints.
Donald Neal did the bulk of the damage for Vicenza, going a combined 5-for-5 with four doubles over the two games and driving in five of the Cougars’ 11 runs in the opener. Vicenza can parlay its momentum into Division I success next weekend as Stuttgart, Vilseck and Naples visit for a four-team large-school event.
SoftballNaples 12/21, Sigonella 7/1: At Naples, Anika Loverink led the Wildcats to Friday and Saturday wins over the Jaguars.
Loverink starred on the mound on Friday, allowing just one hit while striking out seven over four innings of work. Then she stood out at the plate on Saturday, going 3-for-3 while scoring twice and driving in two runs.
Nadia Arce earned the pitching win and scored three runs in Saturday’s WIldcat win.
Kaiserslautern 9/20, Wiesbaden 6/4: Saturday at Wiesbaden, the Raiders used a pair of big innings to put away the host Warriors.
Kaiserslautern produced a five-run fourth inning to pull far ahead of Wiesbaden in the opener. Phoenix Whisennand contributed two hits and an RBI and six solid innings on the mound in the win.
The Raiders finished the set emphatically with a 13-run third inning in the nightcap. Whisennand starred again with three hits and two RBI as Ally Alamos earned the pitching victory.
Vicenza 14/16, Aviano 13/11: Saturday at Vicenza, the host Cougars needed some timely runs to twice outlast their local rival.
Vicenza scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to claim a comeback win in the early game. The Cougars then posted seven runs in the fourth and final inning to pull away in the late game.
Chenoa Gragg earned the pitching win and notched two hits in the early game; Sinead Williams drove in five runs in the nightcap.