Small schools earned big wins this weekend as the 2018 DODEA-Europe softball season opened.

The Division II Spangdahlem Sentinels outscored the host Kaiserslautern Raiders 22-18 in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader. The victory represented a winning start to a new era for the former Bitburg Barons.

The Division I Raiders responded in the nightcap with a 21-6 victory. Spangdahlem’s Ashley Otto and Kaiserslautern’s Abi Young traded victories on the mound.

In Italy, meanwhile, the reigning Division II/III champion Sigonella Jaguars launched their title defense in convincing fashion with an 8-1 defeat of the Vicenza Cougars. Hannah Davis struck out five batters while Jessica Jacobs slapped a home run to pace the Jaguar offense.

Sigonella completed its Friday at Naples with a 12-1 defeat of small-school rival Aviano.

BaseballStuttgart 3/6, Wiesbaden 2/8: Saturday at Wiesbaden, the Panthers and Warriors helped get the 2018 DODEA-Europe baseball season off to a rousing start with a supremely competitive doubleheader split.

The Panthers claimed the opener 3-2 on a pair of runs in the sixth and final inning. Peter Buxkemper and Lisle Babcock provided the key hits to power Stuttgart’s decisive late rally, while Gabe Simpson struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win.

Stuttgart threatened a sweep in the second game, bursting out to a 6-2 lead through three innings. But Wiesbaden, playing the first regular-season games on its brand-new field, roared back behind a bases-clearing fourth-inning double by Thomas Wieland, then tied the game in the fifth as Johan Tyler touched home on a passed ball. Wieland and Finn Swafford scored in the sixth to complete the comeback victory.

Kaiserslautern 11/14, Spangdahlem 9/0: At Kaiserslautern, the Raiders earned an opening sweep of the visiting Sentinels.

Kaiserslautern ace Nolan Sherman earned the save in the first game and the win in the second game, striking out 13 batters in a five-inning one-hitter on the latter occasion. Sherman was also one of four Raiders to drive in two runs in the late game.

Kenny Jiles led the Raider offense with four RBI over the two games.

Kaiserslautern visits Stuttgart on Friday, while Spangdahlem’s next set is April 14 at Lakenheath.

Ramstein 2/5, SHAPE 1/6: Saturday at Mons, Belgium, the Spartans earned a split with the reigning champion Royals in an evenly matched Division I doubleheader.

Ramstein scored a run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to erase a 1-0 deficit in the early game. Kaleb Bellew paced the Royals on the mound with four strikeouts over three innings and at the plate with a pair of hits.

Jose Garcia had a home run, a double and two RBI as SHAPE took a larger early lead in the late game and survived a four-run final-inning rally from the Royals. John Emmert struck out five over seven innings to earn the pitching win for SHAPE.

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