Wauconda sophomore pitcher Kayla Wedl is already putting her talents on display and demonstrating why she is one of the top players in her class.
She showed off her 60-plus mph arm immediately against Hampshire on Monday at the Rosemont Dome by striking out eight of the first nine batters she faced. Her bat did some talking later in the game on the way to an eventual 10-0, 11-1 sweep.
Wedl struck out 16 in the first game, allowing just three hits and walking one. She followed that performance with a nine-strikeout, 5-hitter. She was 5-for-9 at the plate, including a double, inside-the-park grand slam, and six RBI (all in Game 1).
“It was just nice to be playing a game,” Wedl said. “That [grand slam] felt pretty good, when [coach Tim Rennel] sent me I was like ‘Oh my God’ and I just slid around [the catcher].”
Rennel felt he didn’t have a choice but to send Wedl home.
“She was coming with a full head of steam and I wasn’t stepping in front of that,” Rennel said of the speedy Wedl.
Whip-Purs pitcher Haley Widmayer was cruising right along with Wedl after four innings in a scoreless tie. The Bulldogs scored two in the fifth on a wild pitch scoring Abby Baldocchi (2-for-4, 2 RS, 3 RBI in Game 1). Lauren Nee (3-for-5, 3B, 2 RS, 4 RBI in Game 2) later scored on an RBI double by Wedl.
The Bulldogs (2-0) broke it open during a six-run sixth highlighted by Wedl’s inside-the-park home run to right center. Baldocchi also added an RBI single. Angie Exline added a double for the Bulldogs.
“Seventy-five degrees and sunny in here,” Rennel said. “We are just really happy to play. The offense was a little nervous at first but they redeemed themselves and settled in and did what I expected them to do.”
In Game 2, Nee lead off with a single and a three-base error after the ball skipped by the left fielder, putting her team up 1-0. Sarah Ricci added an RBI single in the third. Taylor McCarthy (2-for-3, 3B), Nee (three-run triple) and Alex Steffens (3-for-4, 3B, 2 RS, RBI) contributed to a seven-run seventh.
The Whip-Purs (0-2) scored their only run in the fourth on a single by Widmayer and an RBI triple by Aly Snoder to cut the lead to 2-1. Sara Finn had two triples, one in each game, for the Whip-purs.