Everyone who came up to the scorers' table in Menomonee Falls after the DSHA softball team's 8-5 victory over the Indians in a Greater Metro Conference showdown April 28 was stunned by the final score.
Not by the fact that the 12-0 Dashers won, but by the fact that the game was so high-scoring in a matchup of two traditionally pitching-heavy programs.
'I thought that it would have been 1-0,' was the common refrain.
And with DSHA's senior all-state hurler Rose Dentice toeing the rubber, one would have thought that, but the misty, miserable, winter-like, 39-degree conditions surprisingly gave advantage to the hitters, as the Dashers cracked 11 hits and the Indians eight.
Those three extra hits and two critical errors proved to be the difference, however, as the Dashers moved into sole possession of first place in the GMC at 6-0, while the rebuilding Indians fell to 5-1 in league play and 10-3 overall.
No one had time to celebrate or mourn lost opportunities as Falls went on to beat West Allis Hale on April 29 and then caught a break as Brookfield Central upset DSHA the same day to create a three-way tie for the GMC lead.
And the rematch for Falls and DSHA came quickly as they had a make-up of an early-season rain-out between the two at the Dashers' diamond on Wednesday, May 4.
In the interim, there are matters for the Indians to address.
'The bottom of their order wreaked havoc on us,' said Falls coach Lou Sanicola, whose team had a seven-game winning streak snapped with the loss.
He was referring to eight-spot hitter Jackie Dooge, whose two-run double in the second gave DSHA the lead for good, and six and seven hitters Jackie Walsh and Mary Callanan, who got on ahead of lead-off batter Jess Stagmayer's line drive down the third baseline that turned into a grand slam.
In both instances, fielding errors compounded the problem. In the second, the lead-off hitter took advantage of a dropped foul pop to lace a single. She later came around to score on Dooge's double.
Then in the fourth, with two on and two out, the Indians attempted a force play at third, but the throw was low and loaded the bases for Stagmayer.
'They took advantage of the few mistakes that we made,' Sanicola said, 'and that will happen against really good teams.'
Falls did fight back against Dentice, loading the bases with none out in the fifth, but Dentice battled back as Falls managed RBI groundouts from both Kenzie Poetzel and Gabby Feltman to make it 6-3, but they could not get a big hit that would have made it even closer.
DSHA built the lead back to 8-3 with a two-out, two-run single from Callanan in the fifth.
Falls got two more in its half of the fifth on RBI hits from Stephanie Cole and Morgan Schiedemeyer, but Dentice (three strikeouts and one walk) stifled the Indians the rest of the way.
'I was proud of the kids,' Sanicola said. 'We kept coming back and got in some good at-bats. I was very encouraged by this.'
Indian pitcher Ciera Jones had a mixed day. She gave up the eight runs, but only three were earned, and she had 10 strikeouts with no walks. Offensively, the two-time Now All-Suburban outfielder Cole had two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs, while Schiedemeyer had two hits and two RBIs.
Though Dooge and Stagmayer had the big hits, the Dashers, who in the past have struggled on offense, created opportunity up and down the lineup as Walsh and Ellie Esser each had two hits and two runs scored and Dentice also had two hits.
'We're still figuring out how to compete at this level,' said Sanicola, whose team has only three seniors in the lineup. 'Find out what we need to learn, and then see what happens when we get another crack at them.'