WATERLOO — Waverly-Shell Rock has had plenty of ups and downs through its first 24 games this softball season.
The Go-Hawks (12-12) hope Monday’s 14-1 explosion at Waterloo West is the kind of win they can use as a springboard into the final weeks of the season.
“We were just hoping to come in here and get a great ball game,” Go-Hawks coach Heather Zajicek said. “What we got was probably the most complete game we have played so far this year.”
Waverly-Shell Rock got hot early and never cooled off, banging five home runs among 13 hits. The Go-Hawks committed no errors and received a pitching gem from sophomore Hanna Fanter.
“These girls are beginning to trust in the process and they are believing in each other,” Zajicek said. “We are really seeing the ball very well and they are attacking the pitches.”
The attack started with the bat of Fanter, who laced a line drive to left field that dinged off the top of the fence and went over for a two-run home run.
“I felt good hitting that pitch, but when the ball hit the top of the fence I was thinking ‘Did it go over?’” Fanter said. “I was ready to turn around, but saw it did make it over. That really put a start in our offense as everybody began to hit. We just kind of feed off each other.”
W-SR racked up six more runs in the second, keyed by Carlie Robbins’ two-run homer. Robbins duplicated the feat in the fourth inning, bringing Haley Eckerman home with her.
Fanter continued the hot hitting during the third frame as she delivered a two-run knockout punch that had a little more distance than her first round-tripper.
“That one felt really good right off the bat,” Fanter said. “We actually hit the ball really well this weekend and I think it just continued tonight. We are playing better as a team and right now we have it going good. We just cannot let up.”
In the pitching circle, Fanter held the Wahawks to a pair of hits. In the second inning, Sophia Dehl delivered a single and when she advanced toward second, Colleen Duffy scored from third on the throw.
For W-SR, Jaylie Reints cranked the fifth homer for her team in the third to make it 12-1.
“We are beginning to see the right things happening right now,” Zajicek said. “We had some that questioned us at the beginning of the year, but we just need to keep believing in each other and keep playing hard over the next couple of weeks.”
The Go-Hawks will try to keep their momentum going when they travel to New Hampton Wednesday night.
“They hit the ball very well,” West coach Ashley Reimer said. “That does not excuse our errors (four), though. We have to do the little things right and cut down the mistakes. We are glad that this was a non-conference game, and we need to be ready to get back into conference play Tuesday.”
The Wahawks will host Dubuque Hempstead (15-9) Tuesday.
Waverly-S.R. 14, West 1
Waverly-S.R. 264 2 — 14 13 0
Wat. West 010 0 — 1 2 4
Fanter and Robson. Olsson and Schaffer. HR—Fanter 2 (WSR), Robbins 2 (WSR), Reints.