CEDARBURG — About a year from now, Cassidy Gall, Megan Lacke and Sarah Prom will be among those honored as part of Senior Night festivities for the Cedarburg fastpitch softball team.
Apparently the trio did not want to wait to have their day, as each of the standouts made their presence known Thursday, helping the Bulldogs to an 11-0 victory over Nicolet in a North Shore Conference game.
Cedarburg co-head coach Jeff Langkamp was perfectly fine with the juniors essentially celebrating a year early. He is even happier to have them all for another season.
"Those girls will be seniors next year," he said. "They’ve been playing (varsity) since they were freshmen. They’ve started every game from freshman year on, so it’s good to have that steadying force."
As usual, Gall made her impact as a pitcher and with the bat. The right-handers threw four scoreless innings, allowing just a pair of singles to Nicolet junior Maddie Hartley to earn the win.
"Cassidy, in the circle, was great," Langkamp said. "She threw about 50 pitches and Ally (Torbeck) came in and shut them down and we got out of here in five innings."
Offensively, Gall hit a single, a triple, drew a walk, scored twice and drove in two runs.
"She’s a solid three hitter. (She has) power, puts the ball in play, doesn’t strike out much," Langkamp said. "When we get some people on in front of her, she’s pretty good at driving them in. Her bat’s as good as her pitching. An all-around good ballplayer."
Lacke hit singles in each of her three trips to the plate, driving in a run each time. She also scored a run.
"She’s taken off," Langkamp said, noting the second baseman is batting .500 since moving to the sixth spot in the batting order several games ago. "Sometimes these girls get so tied up in at-bat to at-bat, and we’ve been trying to tell them to let it go and don’t get caught up so one at-bat then becomes two. Sometimes just a change of scenery (helps).
“I’d like to take credit for all that, but they do the work.”
Prom has also been doing solid work at the top of the batting order. She reaches base three times, scored twice and stole a base.
“She’s not your prototypical leadoff (hitter),” Langkamp said. “She gets on base, she leads the team in walks. Since we’ve moved her up there, she’s been very steady and it’s nice to have.”
That was not her initial spot in the lineup this season. The coach said the infielder opened the campaign as the cleanup batter and bounced around a bit before finding a place in which she is hitting .600.
“Sarah started the year hitting in the four spot and struggled. We moved her down to the six spot and she struggled,” Langkemp recalled. “After Slinger — we got beat 15-2 — and we were like what are we going to do as a coaching staff.”
The the light bulb went off him and co-head coach Mark Jessup.
“Mark and I talked and we were like, let’s put Sarah at the top of the order. She had been having good at-bats,” Langkamp explained. “I think since moving to the leadoff spot is probably hitting close to .600. She gets on base, she leads the team in walks. Since we’ve moved her up there, she’s been very steady and it’s nice to have.”
The contributions of those juniors helped the Bulldogs to win in five innings thanks to the mercy rule, allowing seniors Kassidy Goethel, All Gotter, Maddie Klumpyan and Megan Tegethoff to enjoy some extra daylight on a gorgeous day for taking photos, opening presents from their teammates and eating cupcakes.
Langkamp reflected on the contributions the senior have made to the success of a program that has won a pair of NSC titles and advanced to the state tournament the past two years.
“I told the girls afterward they’re the reason that we are where we are,” the coach said. “The girls work hard, they buy in, they believe in what’s going on.”
Langkamp pointed to Goethel as a prime example of someone who has been a valuable member of the program over the years.
“Kassidy Goethel has been around the Cedarburg program, the Crush, since she was U-8,” he said about the right fielder, who had a single, drew a walk, scored a run and drove one in Thursday against the Knights.
Klumpyan is another player who has been with the program for a long time and fills a valuable role.
“She’s just a girl that does everything that we ask from her,” he said. “This year she’s our runner and she’s got … nine stolen bases.
“They’ve bought in, they believe and there’s a reason why Cedarburg is back to where we believe that we should be going forward.”
Cedarburg played two games Saturday, splitting the pair of nonconference contests.
In the opener, the Bulldogs dropped a 3-2 decision to Kenosha Bradford in nine innings. Prom had a double and drove in the home side’s two runs. Gall went the distance, allowing just six hits in nine innings while striking out six.
The home team also worked overtime in the second game, defeating Green Bay Preble, 7-6, in eight innings. The Bulldogs had single tallies in the fifth and sixth to take a 4-3 lead, then the visitors plated three runs in the top of the seventh. Cedarburg counted with two runs to extend the game, then won the contest with a run in the eighth.
Cedarburg entered the week with an overall record of 15-7 and are 12-4 in NSC play. Today, the Bulldogs host Homestead in a conference game set for 4:30 p.m. at Wilterdink Field.