The Norwalk softball team was given a tall task — five games in seven days for a high school team that is still searching for its footing.
An 11-2 domination of Port Clinton on Friday in non-league play should be something for the Truckers (2-7) to enjoy during their brief layoff. With Monday’s game with Sandusky being postponed, the Truckers play next on Tuesday vs. Willard.
Norwalk broke open the game in the third inning when Sky Story launched a grand slam home run to the deepest part of centerfield in the third inning. She finished the game 2 for 2 with the four RBIs and a stolen base.
“Sky hit that big grand slam and then the rest of the offense responded,” Norwalk coach Julie Thomas said. “I was happy for her and the rest of the team. This was much needed. We did a lot of good things today, and now with a few days off we will definitely be getting some practice in — starting (today). We will meet and begin working on some of those things that we need to improve on.”
Left-handed pitcher Karissa Conrad struck out four batters and allowed just one earned run in her 113 pitch complete-game win. She was helped by some timely big plays on defensive. Sydney Hughes threw out two runners at third base and the fielders made very few mistakes, which was something that Thomas was excited about.
“We gave Karissa the day off (Thursday) in the hopes of her being rested for today, and she responded by having a great game,” Thomas said. “We have been really working on our defense and fielding early. That has seemed to be the biggest area that we needed to improve, and that extra work showed today.”
On top of the busy week, the schedule included powerhouse SBC Lake foes such as Bellevue and Clyde.
“The schedule has been daunting with all of the games packed into a short window,” Thomas said. “But we got them all in without having to postpone or cancel any of them. Really, the toughest part of playing that many games in a row is that it gives you little time to practice on things that need work. There are little things that we may notice. We have to rely on talking about them with the players, but we can’t actually execute them in a live practice.”
Norwalk’s offense gave Conrad plenty of run support and excelled at running the bases against the Redskins. The Truckers stole nine total bases and that pressure created a few mistakes by Port Clinton’s fielders that allowed Norwalk runners to advance multiple times.
The big third inning that started it all for Norwalk began with singles by Emma Kastor, Sophia Bores, and Hughes to juice the bases for Story’s grand slam. Alex Nolan closed the inning when Conrad hit a sacrifice fly to plate her. The Truckers put up another five run inning in the sixth and final inning they batted in.
Kastor led Norwalk going 3 for 3 at the plate and scored three runs to go along with an RBI. Hughes, Story, Nolan, and Muratori had two hits each, while Nolan and Story both crossed home plate twice. Hughes also drove in a run. Elyse Balduff and Bores each singled and scored a run.
P. Clinton 000 011 0 — 2 9 3
Norwalk 005 105 x — 11 13 2
WP: Conrad; LP: Sneider
2B: (PC) Bowens; HR (N) Story