Germantown downs Homestead to win NSC softball title

Published on: 5/24/2011

It was simply put, Hannah Klebesadel's night on Monday evening out at the Freistadt Road diamonds in Germantown.

The senior pitcher for the Warhawks girls softball team not only set a new single season record for strikeouts with her 13 K's against archrival Homestead, but she also had a the pivotal two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth that propelled Germantown to a 4-1 victory over the Highlanders and the North Shore Conference title.

Her hit was part of a two-out, three-run rally that broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Warhawks their second win in as many tries this season against the defending league and state runner-up Highlanders.

"She was just on," said Germantown coach Amy Barbiaux, "and because of that, everyone was really excited at the end of the game. We all know that Homestead is a great team. We knew we had to battle through."

The win lifted the Warhawks to a 13-1 record in North Shore play and 15-5 overall while the Highlanders fell to 12-2 and 14-8 overall.

The rivals will likely be top seeds in the upcoming WIAA sectional that the Warhawks will host.

"We have a lot of history with them, so we're likely not done with them yet," said Barbiaux.

The latest round was just as dramatic as all the others.

Germantown took a 1-0 lead with a solo run in the first, but the Highlanders rallied to tie it in the fourth on a RBI single by Megan Bailey. It was the only hit of the game for Homestead.

Homestead pitcher Rachel Behnken kept the Warhawks at bay until the sixth. And it looked like Behnken was going to get out of that frame without any further damage either when she got a pop-up for the second out of the inning.

The Warhawks Erika Swoboda was still stranded at first after hitting a single earlier in the inning.

But the fun was just starting, as Addy Green got on by an error and then Behnken issued a walk. Klebesadel then followed that with her clutch single, scoring both Swoboda and Green.

Another run was added and then Klebesadel put the Highlanders down in the seventh with minimal fuss.

Klebesadel finished with three walks while Behnken had three strikeouts and three walks.

Barbiaux and co-coach Kurt Raguse are grateful for the opportunity to reach this major milestone in their first year at the helm.

"We feel blessed to be in a program with so much talent," she said. "That all goes back to the Little League and the Diamond Club and all the work they put into preparing the kids (for high school ball)."