Helped by between-game naps and by the fact that it was one of the first reasonably nice days of the soggy and broken-up softball season, the Oak Creek team took maximum advantage of a tiebreaker on May 3, as the Knights downed host Cudahy, 12-5, to win the Packer Blast Invitational.
Coupled with an impressive rally in a 9-7 Southeast Conference win over Kenosha Indian Trail on May 2, these were the first games in over two weeks for the Knights.
"It was a long day," said Knight coach Jeff Trask of the tourney. "We started at 9 a.m. and didn't get back until around 8 p.m. There was a lot of dead time and the kids actually fell asleep (between games)."
But they were wide-awake during the games, as they improved to 6-5 overall. They have a hectic schedule this week, including a rematch at Oak Creek East Middle School with archrival Franklin on Thursday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m.
"It's interesting how the season has come together," said Trask, whose team has won five of its last six games. "The way it's been set up, it's almost like we're starting over."
If they are starting over, it's with a good burst of energy behind them.
The Knights actually lost their opener in the tournament, 5-2, to South Milwaukee, and then beat Franklin, 5-1, in the second game of pool play. Because all three teams on that side of the pool had the same record, officials had to utilize a tiebreaker of fewest runs allowed to see who would advance to the title game, and the Knights were the tiebreak winners.
No exact details of the title game were available, but Trask said the Knights hit the ball well up and down the order, one through nine.
"The kids really came together, everyone was getting timely hits," he said. "Earlier this season, our big problem was getting runners around. It was a big struggle, but today, everyone connected. A complete effort."
He said that pitchers Nicky and Alex Widenski and Brooke Lipinski did their jobs and kept the Knights in games all day and that Lauren Blunt, Lipinski, Madison Hart, Tori Golden and McKayla Kenney all swung big bats.
"Everyone contributed; everyone hit the ball today," he said. "The only problem was, was despite the fact that it was windy and blowing out, we could never lift it up (hit a home run)."
Trask said the kids all got medals, and there was a nice plaque to take back to the school.
"It was nice to get three games in like this after such a long break," he said.
The Knights got momentum for the tournament by rallying from a 7-0 deficit to beat Indian Trail on May 2. They scored five runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to pull ahead as Hart had three hits and four RBI; Blunt two hits and four RBI; Kenny two hits and two runs scored; and Alex Widenski had three hits.
Lipinski started with Nicky Widenski providing relief.
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