DeKalb’s Natalie Hughes charges in for a catch in the outfield against Central Noble on Friday. The Barons take on Garrett in a doubleheader on Saturday.

PREP BASEBALL East Noble at Garrett


When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Where: Garrett High School Athletic Complex, south of the school.

Overview: The offenses have been ahead of the pitching, which is unusual early in a season. The more consistent team pitching and defensively will gain an edge, but hard telling where that will come from considering the lack of flow due to cold, wet weather.

The Knights (1-3 before Wednesday) are being led early by senior Joe Kovets with a .300 batting average (3-10) and senior Colton Wright with four walks lifing the on-base percentage to .600. Sophomore Brooks Miller has reached base in five of his first seven plate appearances with four walks, and also scored four runs. Junior Michael Bender has driven in three runs.

Plenty of sophomores are contributing early for East Noble.

Junior Cody DeLong leads the Railroaders (2-1 before Wednesday) with a .571 average (4-7), two doubles, a walk, five runs scored and two runs batted in. Senior Hayden Greene is hitting .500 (4-8) with two runs and two runs batted in. Sophomore Tristan Taylor is hitting .444 (4-9) with three RBIs, three runs scored and two doubles. Sophomore Bryce Wilson has a .625 on-base percentage with the help of four base on balls. Edgerton (Ohio) at Eastside (Doubleheader)

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Where: Eastside High School, Butler

Overview: An intriguing border battle will take place between the Bulldogs and the Blazers (1-3).

Coach Chris Rowlison’s Edgerton ball club is 5-3, including 2-1 in the typically competitive Green Meadows Conference in Ohio. Senior Logan Sack was an All-GMC honorable mention on the diamond last year.

Eastside had one-run losses against Leo and Woodlan, but really showed what it is capable of when it beat visiting Angola 7-1 on April 10. The Hornets are expected to be one of the top teams in the Northeast Corner Conference. PREP SOFTBALL East Noble at Lakeland (Doubleheader)

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Where: Lakeland Middle School, LaGrange.

Overview: Offense is the highlight for both teams. But the pitching has under-the-radar potential with junior Elise Edwards (2-4, 3.76 ERA, 53 strikeouts in 35 and one-third innings) for the Lakers and the combination of Taylor Peters (1.50 ERA, 19 strikeouts and one walk in 14 IP) and Dani Jaquay (1.27 ERA, 8 Ks in 11 IP) for the Knights (4-0).

Jaquay is hitting .583 (7-12) with a five of her seven hits being for extra bases. EN junior third baseman Halle Beiswanger is off to a .615 start (8-13) with four runs. Junior shortstop Grace Erwin is hitting .600 (9-15) with a home run, six RBIs, seven runs and five doubles. Sophomore Rylee Cripe is raking at .571 (8-14) with six runs scored and four RBIs.

The Knights received four points in the latest Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Class 4A poll released on Monday.

Lakeland was generating some positive momentum by opening NECC play with wins over Prairie Heights and Westview last week before the latest stretch of nasty weather.

Freshman Keirstin Roose is a talented softball player and has really shown it early. She is batting .650 (13-20) with three doubles, 10 stolen bases, seven runs batted in and six runs scored. Sophomore Kylee Palmer has also been solid in the heart of the Laker order at .438 (7-16) with eight runs and four RBIs. DeKalb at Garrett (Doubleheader)

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.

Where: Denny Feagler Field, Garrett.

Overview: An old-fashioned rivalry among tradition-rich DeKalb County softball programs. It’s a different time as both the Barons and Railroaders are rebuilding. But that won’t take away from the competitiveness of the matchup.

DeKalb is 1-3 against a tough schedule early, including Bishop Dwenger and top NECC teams Central Noble and Angola. The Barons lost close, low-scoring games with the Cougars and the Hornets.

The Barons are led by junior Madison Arnold, who is hitting .556 (5-9) with two doubles, Gracey Yarian, who is hitting .500 (5-10) with a home run, four RBIs and two runs; and senior Allison Marlowe, who is hitting .364 (4-11) with a homer, four RBIs and two runs scored.

It’s pretty amazing that Garrett has played six games over the past two weeks considering the weather over much of April, and it is 3-3.

Briana Kaufman is hitting .583 (7-12) for the Railroaders with one home run and six RBIs. Kierra Richards is hitting .467 (7-15) with two runs driven in and two runs scored. Ryanne Arambula is hitting .400 (6-15) with four runs and three RBIs. Churubusco at Woodlan (Doubleheader)

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Where: Woodlan High School, Woodburn

Overview: The Eagles have had some ups and downs at 2-4. They will be challenged by the Warriors.

Woodlan is 4-1 and has a standout pitcher in senior Emma Baughman. She is 4-0 with a 0.58 ERA. In 24 innings, she allowed only nine hits and struck out 32. That included a five-inning no-hitter against Eastside on March 26. She is also hitting .385 (5-13) with a .667 on-base percentage, one home runs, three RBIs and four runs scored.

Sophomore Alyson Wiesehan is hitting .706 (12-17) with five RBIs, five doubles, seven runs and four stolen bases. She is also Woodlan’s second pitcher.

Churubusco is 2-4 before Wednesday. Junior Abigail Erwin is hitting .611 (11-18) with two homers, 10 runs batted in, seven runs and four doubles. Classmate Breanna Baughman is hitting .429 (9-21) with a home run, three RBIs and eight runs scored. Angola at Bishop Dwenger

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: St. Charles Catholic School, Fort Wayne.

Overview: A big early season test for the Hornets. Yet Angola is ranked 10th in the ICGSA Class 3A poll released on Monday thanks to a 3-0 start. The Saints received six points in the poll.

Dwenger is 2-2 before Wednesday with losses to strong teams in Leo (12-1 on April 9) and Woodlan (4-0 on Friday). Junior Victoria Fisher is hitting .467 (7-15) with a home runs and six runs batted in. Top Saints pitcher Olivia Dickerson, a sophomore, is hitting .417 (5-12) with a home run, four runs batted in, and four runs scored.

Sophomore Janna Schwartzengraber and junior Emma Konrad have been solid in the circle for Angola. Schwartzengraber won both of her starts thus far with a 1.00 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 14 innings. Konrad threw a three-hit shutout in Angola’s 6-0 win at Eastside on April 10.

Lone senior Regan Peppler is sparking Angola at the top of its order, hitting .545 (6-11) with three runs batted in and two runs scored. PREP TRACK & FIELD Churubusco Turtle Town Classic

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Where: Churubusco High School.

Who’s there locally?: Girls teams from East Noble, Westview, West Noble, Lakeland, Fremont, DeKalb, Garrett, Eastside and Prairie Heights.

Overview: Not much has happened in area high school track and field over the past two Saturdays expect for Churubusco’s boys invitational this past Saturday. So maybe, if there’s a will, there’s a way at Churubusco.

The Knights should fare real well with their depth and balance.

Also, watch out for Warrior Aleka Ernsberger in the sprints, Charger Madison Schermerhorn in the 200 and 400, and Panther Jaycee Malone in the hurdle events. Boys’ Goshen Relays

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Where: Foreman Field, Goshen.

Who’s there locally: Angola, East Noble, Westview, Lakeland, West Noble, Central Noble and Prairie Heights.

Overview: This will be the 76th running of the Goshen Relays, and it has been a fixture on the schedule for many of the Noble and Lagrange County programs. The Hornets are on the rise and have recently joined in to amp up their schedule.

The Westview distance crew will make a major presence.

What has arguably flown under the radar is the run of solid pole vaulters the Prairie Heights boys have had over the past few years. That run is continuing with Zach Wiseman and Skyler Cummings. COLLEGE SOFTBALL Hope at Trine (DH)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: SportONE/Parkview Softball Field, Angola.

Records: NCAA Division III No. 20 Hope 18-3, 4-0 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. NCAA Division III No. 13 Trine 24-6, 7-3 MIAA.

Overview: The Thunder will secure a berth in the four-team MIAA Tournament by going 4-2 in their final six games, and could get away with 3-3 based on what teams do around them in the league standings. But conference play has been tougher with sophomore ace Danielle Ray not consistently in the pitching mix.

Flying Dutch coach Mary VandeHoef has built a strong squad in her eight seasons at helm with two NCAA Tournament appearances in the past three seasons, and has built an appetite for the Thunder as they have often got in Hope’s way in recent years.

Hope has a solid experienced core led by senior pitchers Sydney Jones (9-1, 0.93 ERA, 96 strikeouts in 68 IP) and Katie Singer (7-2, 2.13 ERA, 51 hits and 10 walks allowed in 42.2 IP), junior first baseman Shay Pinney (.453, 15 RBIs, only two Ks in 75 official at-bats) and senior catcher Hayley Reitsma (.348, 6 HRs, 23 RBIs, 23 runs).

Last week, four MIAA teams were ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III top 25 poll for first time since 1995. Three remain this week after Calvin (18-5 overall) dropped out. Saint Mary’s is now ranked seventh in the country. COLLEGE BASEBALL Trine-Hope four-game series

When: Friday’s doubleheader at Jannen Field, Angola, 2 p.m.; Saturday’s doubleheader at Boeve Stadium, Holland, Mich., 1 p.m.

Records: Hope 10-14, 8-6 MIAA. Trine 13-15, 7-9 MIAA.

Overview: The Flying Dutchmen are in second place in the MIAA. The Thunder are in fifth place, which is on the outside looking in for the four-team MIAA Tournament in must-win mode while playing catchup from a slow start in MIAA play.

Trine might have to go beyond its four-man starting rotation while needing victories. It is playing three conference doubleheaders in four days, starting with a gutwrenching split at last-place Olivet on Wednesday.

The Thunder won the opener 5-3 on Wednesday, then the Comets took the nightcap 5-1 on Riley Bennett’s grand slam home run in the bottom of the seventh inning after there were two outs and nobody on. Trine starter Adam Wheaton intentionally walked Aaron Gillespie to load the bases and pitch to Bennett, then Bennett fouled off a 1-2 pitch before taking Wheaton deep.

Hope has won six out of its last nine games to move up in the MIAA standings and is 6-2 at home this season.

The depth of the Thunder pitching staff will be tested, and the bullpen needs to be big against a decent hitting Flying Dutchmen team with a team batting average of .293. Prairie Heights graduate Mike Gustin threw 84 pitches in his winning start against Olivet in game one Wednesday.

Hope has a solid back-end reliever in CJ Otteman, who has two saves, a 2.93 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 15 and one-third innings. Opponents are only batting .148 against the sophomore right-hander.

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