Warriors debut with sweep of Kaiserslautern
The Wiesbaden Warriors flashed postseason form in their season-opening DODEA-Europe baseball doubleheader Saturday, sweeping the host Kaiserslautern Raiders 8-4 and 16-0.
The Warriors capitalized on an error-prone Raider defense to post crooked numbers in each of the first three innings, while starter Austin Deckinga recovered from a rocky first inning in an impressive four-inning, three-hit, five-strikeout performance.
Wiesbaden completed the sweep emphatically with a runaway shutout win in the nightcap. Deckinga this time took the lead at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. The Warriors totaled 12 runs in the game’s first two innings, while pitcher Sam Houston kept the Raider bats silent in a three-run, one-hit outing.
R Wilton went 3-for-3 in the opener and drove in a pair of runs in the late game, whiel Thomas Wieland drove in a run in each.
The pair of losses are a rough start for the Raiders, who fell to Lakenheath in last year’s title game. Kaiserslautern got to that point with an 8-7 semifinal defeat of the Warriors, who earned a measure of vengeance Saturday.
The Ramstein Royals, who saw their half-decade title streak end last year at the hands of breakout champion Lakenheath, got off to an undefeated start Saturday with 1-0 and 5-4 defeats of the visiting Stuttgart Panthers.
SoftballStuttgart, Ramstein split a pair: At Ramstein, the Panthers and Royals renewed their rivalry with a high-scoring doubleheader split. Stuttgart won the opener 18-7, while Ramstein evened the series with a late 9-3 win.
Lauren Scherra and Faith Brown led the Stuttgart onslaught in the early game. Scherra posted five hits and drove in three runs, while Brown accounted for four hits and five RBI.
The Royals rebounded behind a complete-game pitching effort from Aubree Richardson, who struck out six over seven innings. Madison Jarvis drove in a pair of runs for the home team.
The Royals and Panthers were the twin powers of Division I before Kaiserslautern broke through for the 2018 championship and are each eying a return to the throne in 2019.
Elsewhere in Division I, returning runner-up Lakenheath earned a season-opening sweep with 33-8 and 16-14 wins over SHAPE.
Highs and lows for Vicenza: The visiting Vicenza Cougars packed a lot into their opening weekend trip to Naples, including a walk-off victory and blowouts from both perspectives.
The Cougars started in style Friday, routing host and archrival Naples 16-6 behind a 12-run third inning and a steady eight-strikeout effort from Chenoa Gragg. Maria Garcia led the way at the plate with four hits and two RBI. But Vicenza stalled in a later Friday game against Sigonella; Jessica Jacobs threw five innings of three-hit ball and added three hits and three RBI in the Jaguars’ 15-7 win.
Saturday brought the signature moment of the Cougars’ young season, a walk-off hit by Makenzie Wilson in the sixth inning of VIcenza’s 6-5 defeat of Sigonella. But a late 17-2 loss to Naples, punctuated by a four-hit, four-RBI outburst by the Wildcats’ Mia Rawlins, left Vicenza with the same .500 record with which it started the eventful weekend.