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The Vilseck Falcons and Kaiserslautern Raiders prefaced the upcoming DODDS-Europe baseball and softball championship tournaments Saturday with a combined four games of postseason caliber and intensity.

The host Falcons won two tough softball decisions over the Raiders by scores of 4-3 and 10-7. The schools' baseball teams played to a draw as Vilseck won the opener 11-1 and Kaiserslautern responded with an 8-7 win.

The softball diamond saw consecutive pitching duels between Vilseck's Elana Montanez and Kaiserslautern's Tori Liggins. The pair of aces each went the 15-inning distance over the doubleheader; Montanez struck out 16 batters over that span while Liggins fanned 12.

The opener went to an extra inning, in which Vilseck's Anna Carmichael drove in teammate Madison Mix with a game-winning RBI base hit.

The Falcons scored their first six hitters of the game in the nightcap and withstood a steady rally to earn the sweep. Janin Powers went 2-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored in the win, while Kaiserslautern's Phoenix Whisennand went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two RBI and two runs.

Kurt Hall led a dominant Falcon effort in the opening baseball game. Hall threw six innings of two-hit ball and struck out 12 Raiders while driving in three runs at the plate in the blowout.

Kaiserslautern avoided an overall diamond sweep with a gritty effort in the nightcap. Pitcher James Kizler struck out six and launched a home run to fuel the win.

SoftballPatch 14/24, Wiesbaden 2/2: Saturday at Stuttgart, the defending Division I champions tuned up for the tournament with a pair of runaway wins.

The Panthers leapt out to a 7-2 lead through the first inning of the opener and tacked on runs in each frame of a five-inning win. Wiesbaden took a narrow 1-0 lead into the second inning of game two before Patch launched a counterstrike that culminated in an 11-run fifth inning.

Elizabeth Hansen got both pitching wins for Patch, striking out a combined 12 Warriors. Shannon Nam went a combined 4-for-7 with 11 RBI, hitting a two-run home run in the opener and a grand slam in the nightcap.

Hohenfels 22/11, Ansbach 6/1: Saturday at Ansbach, the visiting Tigers teed off on the Cougars.

Payton Chandler hit a pair of home runs and Latisha Williams added a home run to consecutive pitching wins in the Hohenfels sweep. Hohenfels will take a six-game Division II/III winning streak into the tournament.

Bitburg 20/20, AFNORTH 17/13: Friday at Bitburg, the Barons wrapped up their season with a much-needed pair of victories. The wins are the first for Bitburg since a March 28 sweep of Baumholder and snap a seven-game losing streak.

AFNORTH 9/19, Baumholder 5/3: Saturday at Baumholder, the Lions redeemed themselves with a sweep of the Bucs.

The four-run opening loss was Baumholder's lowest margin of defeat in a winless regular season.

BaseballRamstein 18/16, SHAPE 1/0: Saturday at Brunssum, Netherlands, the defending champion Royals closed out an undefeated regular season with two double-digit wins over the last-place Spartans. Daniel Thompson and Jon Oswald posted identical three-inning, five-strikeout pitching efforts for the Royals.

Ben Ciero paced the offense with three hits in each game, while Woody Woodruff drove in three runs per contest on the day.

Ramstein will start its bid for a third straight Division I title with a perfect 14-0 record, including a 12-0 Division I mark.

Patch 6/17, Wiesbaden 0/1: Saturday at Stuttgart, the Panthers ended the season back in the familiar win column.

The Panthers, who have played Ramstein in every Division I baseball title game in DODDS-Europe history, took a pair of May 9 losses to Ramstein that spoiled their otherwise unbeaten season. Patch enters the playoffs at 10-2 overall.


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