It's not as simple as it looks for the Menomonee Falls girls softball team, who now have a 14-game winning streak after routing defending Greater Metro Conference champ Brookfield Central in a crisp one-hour, five-inning, 12-1 decision Thursday afternoon.
No, it's not just Nicole Zywiec dominating on the hill, as she did this day with just one hit allowed, 11 strikeouts and the last 11 batters put down in succession.
Nor is it just the big bat of shortstop Hailey Mohrfeld, who hit not one, but two three-run home runs to hasten the end of the game.
It is a lot more than that and Zywiec and Mohrfeld will be the first ones to tell you that.
"I'd say so," said Zywiec. "We're just doing all the little things. We're really coming together and we're just not relying on the one big inning. We're staying strong both offensively and defensively."
Especially on the offensive end, as the Indians recorded their sixth straight game where they reached double digits in terms of runs scored.
Falls improved to 12-1 in Greater Metro Conference play and 15-1 overall. The Indians still need to beat Central (9-3, 13-5) again on Tuesday on the road to clinch at least a share of the league title with West Allis Hale (12-1, 14-2).
And doing that, especially as part of the heady array of opponents the 12th-ranked in state Indians will see next week (Oak Creek, defending state runner-up Homestead and Arrowhead), will require contributions from everyone said the UW-Green Bay bound Mohrfeld.
"It's like I told them in the huddle afterwards," she said. "This is not a one-person show. Just look at today. We had a ton of girls drive in runs. If one person is down, another will step up. It really is a team effort."
That statement is very much true, as Mohrfeld's tablesetters in the batting order, Rachel Defnet and Jamie Ertl, each got on three times and scored all three times, and it was Aleah Van Horne's two-run single in the bottom of the fourth that invoked the 10-run "mercy" rule.
Both of Mohrfeld's home runs (first inning and fourth inning) were screaming ropes hit to left that bounced past the Lancer outfielders. Her quickness was more than the Central fielders could handle once they picked up the ball.
And that was more than enough offense for Zywiec, who gave up a triple in the second to Angie Chartier. Chartier later scored on a groundout but that was it for the day for the Lancers. Zywiec struck out the side in both the first and third innings.
Zywiec, who has worked hard this season with coach Wendy Wolff on her mental toughness, had great location and velocity this day.
"I think the biggest change for me," Zywiec said, "is that instead of moping and being a dead puppy when I'm not hitting my spots or getting the calls is that I now focus on coming back, getting my head in order and pitching the way I know I can."
"She (Zywiec) had to fill in some big shoes a couple of years ago so it took some time for her to get things organized and start believing in her self," she said. "You have to have physical skills to be really good pitcher and she has them, but so much of the game is mental."
'It's just huge, in fact. She (Zywiec) now realizes that she's in charge out there."
Hailey Wilson and Maddie Eikenmeyer added two safeties apiece to augment Falls' 11-hit attack.
For Central, aside from Chartier's hit, the primary highlight was shortstop Andrea Schneider's nifty 6-3 doubleplay that she turned in the second.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Sport Shorts: Sept. 18, 2014 issue
- Broten was ground zero for distance greatness at Falls
- BC dominates Falls football team, 21-0, in GMC action
- Lancers dominate Falls, 21-0, in GMC action
- Football: Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 12
- Falls volleyball team upholds tradition, wins Mukwonago title
- Change is coming, but Menomonee Falls boys soccer team still succeeds
- McMurtry fuels Falls' GMC opening win over Hale, 28-14
- Football: Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 5
- State champion Menomonee Falls volleyball team rebuilding, working hard