Kiley Akey is greeted at home plate by her teammates after her seventh inning home run put Weyauwega-Fremont in front
There’s not much Kiley Akey can’t do on the softball diamond.
The First-Team All-CWC 8 pitcher tallied 11 strikeouts and delivered the game’s first run in the top of the seventh, when she led off the inning with a home run that gave her team a 1-0 lead. The Indians would add a run of insurance to defeat Marshall 2-0 on their way to their second state title game, and first since 2004.
“It’s crazy,” Akey said after the game. “I’ve always dreamt of this since I was eight and it’s finally coming through. It feels like a dream, but I couldn’t have done it without every single one of the girls on my team. Whether they’re on the bench or playing behind me, I knew that they were there.”
Akey and her counterpart in the circle, Marshall’s Taylor Pache, dominated hitters. Pache held Weyauwega-Fremont to just one hit heading into the seventh inning of a scoreless game, but needed to get through their heart of the order with Akey leading off.
“All I was thinking about was how bad I wanted to win, how hard we worked every practice, every game, and I didn’t want to end it that way,” Akey said about what was going through her mind during the at-bat. “I knew we could do better. I needed to lead the team and it ended up in my favor.”
Akey uncorked a long home run over the left field fence that put a jolt into the stadium and gave Akey confidence after struggling recently at the plate.
“When I saw that, I knew she had got it,” said Weyauwega-Fremont head coach Todd Breuer. “She was due. She needed that because she had been struggling at the plate lately. I’ve seen that many times out of her before. I can tell she’s just exhausted right now, but that’s the kind of kid she is. She pitched her heart out today.”
Kati Kettlson singled and scored on a passed ball to give the team some breathing room and a two-run lead.
The win pits Weyauwega-Fremont with Laconia in the state championship, a rematch of a contest played May 16 that was won 7-0 by the Spartans.
Laconia will enter Saturday with a perfect record, and even though many don’t believe Weyauwega-Fremont can hand the Spartans their first loss, they say they’re just fine with that.
“They’re a great team,” Breuer said. “They know that. We’re not supposed to win tomorrow and I think that’s going to take a tremendous amount of pressure off of them. We’re just going to go in, play relaxed, play our game and whatever happens, happens.”
Weyauwega-Fremont and Laconia is scheduled for approximately 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Catch the action on Frog Country 92.3 FM.