It took one game for the 2021 Baraboo prep softball team to accomplish something the program hasn’t since 2016.
The Thunderbirds did it emphatically Tuesday, using an 11-run fifth inning to pull away for a 17-5 five-inning win at Waunakee.
It was Baraboo’s first win over their Badger North Conference rivals since April 21, 2016.
“It was great playing again,” Baraboo coach Dan Lewison said after his team’s first game since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The best part of the game was seeing the kids playing ball and having fun.”
The T-Birds didn’t pour it on immediately, needing a couple of innings to get going offensively.
They broke through in the top of the third inning.
Kylie Sprecher got it started when she was hit by a pitch. She moved to second on a passed ball, then came around to score on an Aria Schindler double. Madee Strampe traded places with Schindler with a double of her own, then Paige Lewison and Tenley Scott added RBI singles, and Maggie Cleary hit a two-run double to give the T-Birds a 5-0 lead.
Waunakee answered with a run in the bottom of the third and two in the fourth to pull within 6-3 before Baraboo really turned it on.
The T-Birds buried the Warriors with an 11-run fifth that started with a back-to-back walks to Cleary and Caroline Lewison.
Emma Crary drove in the first run of the inning with a single, while the big blow was a Caroline Lewison double that scored three runs and stretched the lead to 14-3.
Crary added a fielder’s choice RBI, while Taylor Pfaff capped Baraboo’s scoring with a two-run triple.
Crary closed it out in the circle, working around a pair of Waunakee runs to pick up her first win of the year after going 10-10 in her honorable mention All-Badger North Conference sophomore season in 2019.
Crary struck out six while giving up five hits and two earned runs in five innings.
Schindler and Strampe each went 2-for-4 with a double to help key a Baraboo attack that had 13 hits.
Pfaff went 2-for-4 with a triple, Paige Lewison went 2-for-3 and Tenley Scott went 2-for-4.
“We were a little slow out of the game on offense,” Dan Lewison said. “Once we adjusted, we hit the ball hard. We have a few things to clean up, but great team win.”
BARABOO 17, WAUNAKEE 5
Baraboo 005 111x x — 17 13 4
Waunakee 001 22x x — 5 5 0
Leading hitters: B: Schindler 2x4 (2B), Strampe 2x4 (2B), P. Lewison 2x3, Scott 2x4, Pfaff 2x4 (3B), Cleary (2B), C. Lewison (2B). W: Meyer (3B).