If Western Dubuque’s season-opening softball sweep of Dubuque Wahlert is a sign of things to come this summer, its fans are in for quite a ride in 2021.
The Bobcats took game one, 12-4, and trounced the Golden Eagles, 15-0, in game two, pounding 24 hits in the process.
“It’s always good to start the year with a couple wins,” said Western Dubuque coach Rex Massey. “Our experience and maturity showed playing against a much younger Wahlert team, especially with our pitchers Sydney Kennedy and Meredith Hoerner. They came out with a lot of energy and were able to get a lot of strikeouts.”
Western Dubuque jumped to a 6-0 lead after three innings in the opener, and scored three times in the sixth and seventh innings, to lead 12-0, before Wahlert tallied four in the bottom of the seventh to get on the scoreboard.
“Our hitting got off to a slow start which is expected in the first game of the season,” Massey said.
Wahlert had no answer for senior ace Kennedy, as the right-hander allowed only one hit and struck out 15 in six innings before yielding to Ella Meyer in the seventh.
Western Dubuque offensive leaders in game one: hitting — Maddie Harris 2-for-5 and three RBIs, Meg Besler 1-for-5 and three RBIs, Kennedy 3-for-4 and one RBI, Abigail Kluesner 1-for-4 and one RBI, Sara Horsfield 3-for 5, Meyer 1-for-4, Hailey Wulfekuhle 1-for-2; runs — Horsfield and Isabel Ernzen three, Harris and Kluesner two, Besler and Audrey Biermann one; doubles — Besler two, Kennedy and Kluesner one.
Three innings was all it took for the Bobcats to take the second game, as a 12-run first and a three-run second ended things early.
Hoerner tossed a three-inning no-hitter with six strikeouts and Kluesner went three-for-three with a home run to lead the way.
“The second game we came out looking more comfortable and hitting the ball to the opposite field,” explained Massey. “It is a long season and we have a lot of things to improve on, but we will continue to look to our five seniors for leadership.”
Offensive leaders in game two: hitting — Kluesner 3-for-3 and four RBIs, Kennedy 2-for-3 and one RBI, Besler 2-for-3 and one RBI, Harris 1-for-1 and one RBI, Horsfield 2-for-2, Biermann 1-for-2 and one RBI, Hallie Wilgenbusch 1-for-2 and one RBI; runs — Horsfield, Kennedy and Kluesner three, Besler and Meyer two, Wulfekuhle and Shelby Rice one; doubles — Kennedy two, Horsfield, Besler, Harris and Kluesner one.