Kaneland's potent lineup had been held in check over the first nine games, but the bats definitely came alive in Saturday's home nonconference doubleheader against Batavia.
The Lady Knights' offense produced 31 hits in the twin-bill-including 11 for extra bases-as they needed just five innings in each game to record a convincing 12-2, 19-5 sweep.
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"Finally, first time this year," said a relieved Kaneland coach Brian Willis. "We've been in a pretty big rut, so it was nice to get out of it and hit the ball hard today."
"We started believing in ourselves and just let our bats rip," said leadoff hitter Morgan Weber, who homered for the second consecutive game and scored 6 runs on the day.
"We're clicking as a team-defense, offense- and looking more like Kaneland softball."
In Game 1, Kaneland (6-5) took advantage of a pair of first-inning errors to take a quick 3-0 lead off Batavia freshman starter Rachael Lovestrand, highlighted by Meg Cohrs' 2-run double down the right field line.
The Lady Bulldogs (0-6) answered with two runs in the second as Nicole Peercy doubled and scored when Kaneland misplayed Lovestrand's hard grounder to third. Ashley McNamara added a clutch two-out RBI single down the third-base line.
Weber crushed a changeup over the center field fence to open the Kaneland second and Page Kuefler scored later in the inning for a 5-2 lead.
Batavia had a chance to cut into the lead in the fourth when Peercy and Lovestrand delivered consecutive singles, but Kaneland starter Angie Morrow worked out of the jam.
Morrow allowed just four hits and walked two in a solid complete game performance.
The Knights broke the game open during a 6-run fourth. Lanie Callaghan and Kuefler had back-to-back RBI doubles and Cohrs singled in another run. Rachel Goress capped the rally with a 2-run single up the middle.
"The first couple of innings we didn't play very good defense, but we got it together. Then we started hitting on top of that, so it all came together," said Cohrs, who drove in her fourth run to invoke the 10-run rule in the fifth.
Ryanne Rokos scored twice in Game 2 for Batavia while Toni Galas, Christina Karius, Tara Zufan and Peercy each drove in single runs.
"We picked up our offense today, but I have to give Kaneland credit, they made some adjustments and hit the ball hard," said Batavia coach Lupe Castellanos.
Mary Clausen and Courtney Davis both collected 3 RBI for Kaneland with Goress and Kuefler each driving in two. Anissa Becker gave up four runs over four innings to earn the win.