How does a team make up for lost time during a pandemic? If it’s the West Delaware softball team, it’s scheduling 10 games the first week of play against some of the top teams on this side of the state.
The Hawks finished the week going 6-4 with eight conference games and a non-conference doubleheader against defending Class 1A state champion North Linn. All games were played at home.
Against Solon, June 15, West Delaware won, 8-1 and 5-1. In the opener, Macey Kleitsch went 3-for-3, Ella Koloc 2-for-4, Heather Heims 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs. Kleitsch allowed five hits and struck out four to earn the win in the circle.
In the second game, Kleitsch was 3-for-4, while Eva Winn and Koloc each had two hits. Erin Mullen got the win for the Hawks, allowing six hits and striking out one.
West Delaware swept Independence, June 17, winning the opener, 10-0 and the nightcap, 9-4. WD had 14 hits in the opener. Eve Wedewer, Kleitsch, Heims, Winn and Leah Wegmann all had multiple hits for the Hawks. Kleitsch earned the win in the circle, allowing only one hit and striking out six.
In the second game, Kleitsch was 2-for-2 at the plate with a home run and four RBIs. Alissa Holtz went 2-for-2. Mullen earned the win, allowing nine hits and striking out one.
The Hawks split with Mount Vernon, June 18. West Delaware won the opener, 3-0, with Wedewer going 2-for-3 with a double and Koloc having a pair of RBIs. Kleitsch struck out five and allowed six hits in a complete-game effort.
Mount Vernon won, 7-1, in game two. Winn was 2-for-3 for West Delaware, with Kleitsch taking the loss in the circle.
Williamsburg split with West Delaware, June 19, winning the opener over the Hawks, 2-1. Tied 1-1 after four innings, Williamsburg pushed across the winning run in the tenth inning. Kleitsch was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Heims was 2-for-2. Kleitsch was the losing pitcher, allowing five hits and striking out four.
Kleitsch and Wedewer each had three hits in the second game, a 10-7 Hawk win. Wegmann was 2-for-3 at the plate. Mullen earned the win, allowing eight hits and striking out two.
In the opener against North Linn, June 20, West Delaware led 3-2 after five innings before the Lynx pushed across three runs in the sixth and won 5-3. Winn was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs for the Hawks, while Koloc added two hits. Kleitsch took the loss in the circle, allowing six hits and striking out two.
North Linn took the second game 7-1, with Koloc and Wedewer each having a pair of hits for the Hawks.
Head coach Tiffany Rave said it was an important week for her team. “It was an extremely heavy week for us. I think it was a great opportunity for us. In retrospect, looking back, I’m so glad we had it and so glad we had the competition that we had. Were we dead tired at the end of the week? Yes, we were. Having the competition that we were able to get in week one, I think, put us in a great spot moving forward. It challenged us right away. We had to be on our A-game. The week showed us some parts of our game we were pretty happy with and also parts of our game we need to work on.”
Rave was pleased with her entire team’s offense. But she had a special mention for the week Kleitsch had. Kleitsch batted .529 for the week, with 18 hits and 13 RBIs. In addition, she pitched 50 innings, striking out 28 and walking only two batters. “Macey had an incredible week at the plate. Anybody who watched her play, she did a great job. Up and down the lineup all our players were great. But offensively, she brought it. On top of that, pitched a ton of innings. Extremely impressed with what she brought to her team in leadership and ability in week one.”