Warriors, Raiders looking like contenders
Dominant efforts by Wiesbaden's baseball team and Kaiserslautern's softball team and some evenly-matched action in Italy highlighted the weekend's DODEA-Europe action on the diamonds, the first regular-season activity for most of the organization since it adjourned for spring break on April 2.
BaseballNaples 4/6, Sigonella 0/7: At Sigonella, a two-out single by Aaron Jacobs delivered a dramatic Saturday victory and a doubleheader split for the home team.
Jacobs' game-winning single came with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, just moments after Naples tied the back-and-forth game in the top of that frame. Alex Noack drew a one-out walk, stole second base, proceeded to third on a groundout by freshman teammate Danny Hopkins and touched home on Jacobs' line-drive base hit.
The win salvaged a split for Sigonella, which had no luck Friday against Naples ace Robert Dromerhauser. The Wildcat hurler was nearly untouchable, striking out 15 Jaguars and yielding just one hit in a complete-game, six-inning gem.
Wiesbaden 17/11, Vilseck 1/4: Friday at Vilseck, the Warriors continued their rise to the Division I elite by twice dispatching last year's European runner-up.
Gunner Yingling and Alex Newton earned the respective pitching wins for Wiesbaden, while the heroes were legion at the plate. Austin Sawyer scored three runs, Parker Crumbly drove in three and Newton scored twice and added two RBI in the first game. Finn Swafford had two RBI and Netwon scored three runs and drove in another in the late game.
The wins boost Wiesbaden to 6-0 on the season, including two wins apiece over established large-school contenders Vilseck and Stuttgart. The Warriors visit Bitburg next weekend, then resume their Division I gauntlet against defending champion Ramstein and 2015 semifinalist Kaiserslautern.
SoftballKaiserslautern cleans up in England: The Kaiserslautern Raiders dominated fellow visitors AFNORTH and the host Lakenheath Lancers over the weekend, handing each team a pair of lopsided losses.
The Raiders beat AFNORTH 21-6 on Friday and 16-1 on Saturday, and routed the Lancers 16-0 on Friday and 21-2 on Saturday. Strong performances by Nina Knight and Tori Liggins led the way to the 4-0 weekend, which improved Kaiserslautern to 10-0 on the season.
Lakenheath beat AFNORTH each day, including a 21-16 win Friday and a 21-9 triumph Saturday.
Sigonella 10/8, Naples 8/15: At Sigonella, the Jaguars and Wildcats split a very competitive pair of weekend games.
Sigonella got the best of Naples on Friday behind a complete-game pitching effort by Hanna Barnes. The Jaguar ace struck out four hitters and scattered seven hits in the win.
Naples responded the next day with an offensive outburst spearheaded by Sarah Kemp, who launched a home run and drove in two runs on the day.
Kisiah Chandler starred at the plate for Sigonella, collecting four hits, two runs scored and three RBI on the weekend.
Vilseck 11/13, Wiesbaden 4/6: Friday at Vilseck, the host Falcons outlasted the Division I rival Warriors in both halves of a twin bill.
Avery Hicks picked up the pitching win in the opener with a 10-strikeout performance. The Falcons produced seven runs in the third inning to put the game away.
Crystal Morris starred all over the field as the Falcons clinched the sweep. She went the four-inning distance for a win on the mound and drew four walks, stole four bases and scored four runs to fuel the offense.
Vilseck takes a four-game winning streak into its visit to Vicenza next weekend, a four-school meet-up that also includes Naples and Stuttgart.
Bitburg 18/31, Baumholder 2/2: Saturday at Bitburg, the homestanding Barons earned an emphatic sweep over the Bucs.
Nikki Jiao went a combined 5-for-5 over the doubleheader, blasting three doubles, a triple and a total of seven RBI. Jiao also picked up the pitching win in the nightcap. Gaby Rodriguez went 3-for-3 in the late game with four RBI.
Bitburg scored at least six runs in all five innings it batted, including 17 runs in the second inning of the second game and nine apiece in the two-inning opener.