Last fall, the Kimberly football team came down to Homestead and thoroughly dominated North Shore Conference champion Homestead in a much anticipated state playoff game.
That Kimberly team cruised to the state D2 title.
Tonight, the Kimberly girls softball team showed that it is a complete match for its football playing brethern as the breathtakingly young Papermakers scored seven runs in the first and never looked back in hammering another North Shore Conference champion in Germantown, 15-0, in a five-inning WIAA state semifinal no-hitter.
"They're the University of Kimberly," wagged one observer of Kimberly's recent run of success, which included the boys state track title last weekend.
"What can you do?" asked Warhawk co-coach Kurt Raguse rhetorically. "When they come out swinging like they did, there's not much you can do, and on top of it, we get no-hit by a heck of a pitcher (junior Megan Kleist).
"We didn't get no-hit by a nobody."
With the loss, the Warhawks, who were just a day removed from their biggest win of the season, a 5-2 state quarterfinal decision over border rival Menomonee Falls, saw their season close at 21-9.
Kimberly, meanwhile, which has just one senior and six freshmen on its roster, improved to 26-3 and will advance to Saturday's WIAA State D1 title game back at Goodman Diamond in Madison against Westosha Central (27-3).
This game was over almost before it started, as the Papermakers roughed up Gerrmantown starter Kim Soderberg for four straight hits to start the first, including two doubles and a triple.
She left with a 3-0 deficit and reliever Jordan Wood didn't have a much easier time of it, surrendering four more hits in the frame before finally getting the Papermakers out.
Kimberly notched eight hits in scoring in severn runs.
Meanwhile, Kleist made it clear she meant business, striking out the potent top of the Germantown order in the top of the first.
After Wood threw a shutout in the second inning, the Papermakers were back at it in the third, scoring seven more times on five hits with the help of three Germantown errors.
It was all over but the shouting at that point.
Kleist didn't come close to giving up a hit as she struck out nine and issued only two walks, ironically both were to Germantown third baseman Korey Rossman. Michelle Moore was brought in to relieve Wood in the third and pitched gamely with four strikeouts and just two runs allowed over the next two-plus innings.
Hot-hitting Germantown shortstop and leadoff hitter Erika Berry was stymied by Kleist with two strikeouts while the Warhawks simply could not keep Kimberly leadoff hitter Jenna Smarzinski off the basepaths as she had four hits, three runs scored and three RBI.
Kimberly finished with 16 hits.
"Sometimes you just have to tip your cap," said Raguse. "I basically told the kids afterwards that I was proud of them. There are only four teams in division 1 that could call themselves state semifinalists.
"I said, enjoy it, you're one of them."
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