By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

The Waterford Union High School softball team scored 12 runs on 12 hits to beat the Whippets 12-5 March 26 at Whitewater High School.

The victory over the Whippets marked the first victory for new Wolverines coach Ryan Krueger.

Krueger is in his third year in the district.

The Wolverines, who played Wednesday at Racine St. Catherine’s, will open Southern Lakes Conference play April 3 against Delavan-Darien at West Park in Darien.

Entering the fourth inning, with Waterford down 1-0, the Wolverines posted two runs to take a 2-1 lead.

The Wolverines extended their lead to 12-5, courtesy of a three-run fifth inning followed by another two runs in the sixth, and capped off the barrage with a five-run seventh inning.

Wolverines’ pitcher Megan Funk threw a complete game. Funk allowed 12 hits and struck out seven.

Funk helped her cause at the plate by finishing 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

Calla Esch went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

Waterford (10-16, 2-12 SLC) looks to use the season-opening win as a stepping stone for the rest of the year, including contests against challenging SLC opponents, like Wilmot and Westosha Central.

The Wolverines, however, had a solution to one SLC opponent at the end of last season.

In the WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal, the 11th-seeded Wolverines defeated No. 6 Elkhorn 5-2 to advance to the title game, where they lost to 5-1 to No. 3 Janesville Craig.

Meanwhile, for first-year coach Krueger, he has an opportunity to work with a strong core of returning letter-winners.

Seniors Esch and Funk are joined by Lindsay Herman, Natalie Horn; juniors Jemma Fiehweg and Brooke Walek; and sophomore Emma Nisbet.

Juniors Kristine Albert, Jena Enea, Olivia Cammers, Hailey Rose Cole and sophomores Ashley Baker and Mackenzie Stiewie round-out the varsity squad.

Krueger said he looks to the team’s experience and defense as strengths this season.

“I think our team will be as successful as the amount of work we are willing to put forth in practice,” Krueger said. “I am a firm believer that we will get out what we put in to the team, the game, and the program.”