The weather hasn't been cooperative but the bats have been for the Homestead girls softball team. The Highlanders, in this disjointed and wet spring, were 5-0 heading into this week, having scored in double figures in every game.
"It's been a good start," said veteran Highlander coach Dave Keel. "It's been a combination of solid pitching and solid hitting. we've been competitive so far, but we haven't faced the best teams in the league yet."
That was supposed to start this week if the lousy forecast for the week let up a little. A critical game with defending North Shore Conference champion Germantown was slated for Tuesday, April 29, but wet weather is putting a hamper on all manner of spring activities this week, including softball.
So, the Highlanders will continue to make the best of it. Their 5-0 record includes four wins in North Shore play. They defeated Port Washington on April 9 (10-0), Grafton on April 10 (12-2), Nicolet on April 22 (11-2), Cedarburg on April 23 (22-0) and nonconference opponent West Bend West on April 25 (14-1).
They are building around a veteran team led by the North Shore Conference's best infielder (in coaches balloting) for two years running, junior shortstop Hannah Behnken.
Behnken is off to another sensational start, having hit for the cycle in the win over Grafton.
Pitching will be handled by two-year letterwinner, junior Carly Schulz, with help from fellow letterwinner sophomore Allie Beckers and junior Michaela Rusch.
Around the horn, junior catcher Maggi Lampen won a letter two years ago before missing a season due to a broken leg, while veterans like senior Sydney Beckers and sophomore Julia Warshauer will handle duties at first base.
At second, junior letterwinner Margaux Wilson will split duties with sophomore Megan Manning. Third will be handled by either Beckers or Schulz depending upon who is pitching that day.
In the outfield, newcomer junior Nikki Brendemuehl will be in right, while junior letterwinner Morgan Clark will be in center and Rusch will stake out a place in left.
Others helping out this season will be designated player/catcher junior Kelly Kasper and junior outfielder Mari Sadowsky.
Keel said that former Cedarburg coach Terry Wagner has been added to the staff as an assistant and he's already been a big help to the offense.
Multi-time NSC champion and state tournament qualifier Germantown will be formidable again this year, but Keel likes how his team has performed so far.
"Overall, we're in pretty good position," said Keel. "The girls have a good attitude and they understand what they need to do to be successful."
The Highlanders were slated to visit Whitefish Bay on Thursday, May 1, and host Milwaukee Lutheran on May 2 before hosting both Port Washington on Monday, May 5, and Grafton on Tuesday, May 6 (both games at 4:10 p.m.).
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