The Highlanders finally dodged enough raindrops to open North Shore Conference play with a 4-0 win over Nicolet on April 3.
Homestead, which has earned three straight WIAA state tournament berths, is built around an experienced infield and pitching staff this spring and will battle equally experienced defending league champion Germantown for the conference crown.
"I like our experience," Highlanders coach Dave Keel said. "They understand what I'm looking for. Last season was helpful. We were a little young then but we made a big breakthrough at the end."
Homestead has nine returning letterwinners including junior pitcher Bekah Rennicke. Other key players include sophomore catcher Amy Keel, infielders (all juniors), Erica Reetz at first, Sarah Block at second, Michelle Zoeller at shortstop and Britt Schlaeger at third; senior outfielders Courtney Hrkac, Erin Umhoefer and Lisa Brancaccio, and sophomore outfielder Siena Mitman.
Rennicke threw a one-hitter against Nicolet with six strikeouts and four walks. Zoeller had two home runs and two RBI and Reetz had three hits.
The Knights' Meagan Manes threw well against the three-time state qualifier Homestead squad but got no offensive support in a 4-0 road defeat April 3.
Manes had seven strikeouts with two walks but the Knights had just one hit behind her.
Coach Brad Kuehl is hopeful to get sophomore catcher and outfielder Emily Gadzichowski back after spring break. The 2008 first-team all-North Shore selection had leg surgery March 24.
- Steven L. Tietz,
Shorewood were on opposite ends of blowouts recently.
The Greyhounds were no-hit by Greendale in a 13-0 loss April 3, but bounced back to beat Milwaukee Hamilton, 13-6, one day later.
The Greyhounds used a 10-run second inning to blow away Hamilton.
Athena Naylor had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while Caitlin Petersen and Justine Chappa each had a hit and two RBI.
Jocelyn Bykowski pitched a five-inning no-hitter for Greendale. Alyssa Brunelli and Andrea Waldera each homered for the Panthers.
The Blue Dukes took a 5-0 lead and then held on for a 5-4 nonconference home win over Milwaukee King on April 3.
Bay (2-1) took advantage of six errors by the Generals, and sophomore Erin Lehrmann threw four innings for the win with four strikeouts. Junior JoAnna Ruppa had seven strikeouts in three innings.
Ruppa also led the offense with two triples and three RBI and senior Andrea Bihler contributed two hits.
Bay also lost, 3-2, in nine innings to visiting Cedarburg on April 2.
Ruppa had 14 strikeouts and five walks while allowing only two hits.
- Steven L. Tietz
and Tom "Sky" Skibosh,
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