DeKALB – After the DeKalb softball team played and won its first two games indoors at the Dome in Rosemont, the Barbs were ready to get outside and play.
“I love being out on the field. Even though it is really cold, it feels really good to get outside and play,” senior pitcher Katie Kowalski said. “It is so much better than being indoors.”
That energy and enthusiasm was seen right from the first inning of DeKalb’s doubleheader against Rockford Boylan. The Barbs (4-0) scored seven runs in the bottom of the first inning en route to an 11-1 win in five innings. DeKalb completed the doubleheader sweep with a 10-0 victory in the second game as Morgan Newport got her third win of the year, pitching the first four innings.
“We came out strong in the first inning and scored seven runs. That was really nice to see,” Kowalski said. “It kind of faded after that, but it was a long game.”
After Newport scored on a fielder’s choice to open the scoring, back-to-back RBI singles by Taylor Garland and Abby Taylor broke the game open. Garland came around to score on a Claire Koertner RBI single to right field.
“I thought they wouldn’t (come out fast) because of the chill,” Barbs head coach Jeff Davis said. “After the first two games, we did take quite a few pitches, so I told them ‘If you get a fastball, you got to hit it.’ It doesn’t matter if it is cold, it is cold for them as well. We put the ball in play and hit some balls hard.”
The Barbs scored two more runs in the second inning. Sarah Friedlund laced a triple to right-center, which plated Lindsey Costliow. Friedlund eventually came around to score on a Haley Tadd groundout.
“I thought we played pretty well. I think we might have had one defensive error,” Davis said. “But it is only the third game of the year. Every day that we get to play, especially outside, we are going to hopefully improve. Then when it really gets nice out, I hope we are at the top of our ball game.”
Kowalski (1-0) earned the win in the circle for her four innings of work in Game 1. The senior allowed two hits and no runs. Kowalski also struck out two and walked none. Garland finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs. Costliow went 1-for-2 with three runs scored.
In the second game, DeKalb got two hits apiece from Friedlund and Costliow in the victory.
“Katie did a great job. It is just my job to try and get them some consistent innings and get them healthy until this weather gets better,” Davis said. “And they will also improve.”