Softball undefeated in weekend twin bill

Mary Wright, sports reporter

The Winona State University Softball team swept their double header against Bemidji State this past weekend.
In the first game, the Warriors achieved a sweeping victory, going 10-0 in the twin bill.
During the affair, fourth-year pitcher Jordyn Kleman launched her way to a no-hitter.
In the second game in the doubleheader, the Warriors won 7-5 in extra innings.
Softball Head Coach Greg Jones said he acknowledges the difficulty of pulling off that feat.
“No-hitters aren’t easy,” Jones said. “To have good enough stuff to keep a team without a hit for an entire game is an amazing accomplishment.”
The only Bemidji State player to get on base was hit by a pitch in the first inning.
Kleman struck out seven of the other batters she faced.
The game ended after the top of the fifth inning due to the run rule.
Also notable in the first game was a grand slam hit by second-year infielder Libby Neveau in the second inning, who proceeded to go 3-for-3 at the plate.
Noveau hit five RBIs and scored twice, including her grand slam.
Neveau said in regard to the grand slam,“It felt great and was very exciting, but definitely could not have happened if my teammates were not on base. They did a fantastic job of stringing hits together and drawing walks.”
Third-year outfielder Marissa Mullen pulled in a three-run homer from the plate.
It was Mullen’s first at-bat of the day, scoring fourth-year Alison Nowak and Neveau who had back-to-back hits before her.
“The no-hitter was a big thanks to the awesome defense behind me and so was the win in the second game,” Kleman said.
This was the eighth no-hitter Kleman has pitched in her career at Winona State.
As for the second game, the Warriors scored four runs in the fifth after being down by one in the fourth.
However, Bemidji State continued scoring and caught up to the Warriors by the bottom of the seventh, taking the game to extra innings.
In the ninth inning, the Warriors put up three runs to their one run, ultimately defeating Bemidji State.
The Warriors had only one hit in the first four innings: a single, hit by fourth-year infielder Ann Smolenski.
Coach Jones said an early score like that has been hard for the team to accomplish this season.
“We need to score early like we did in game one,” Jones said. “We have struggled to do that this year.”
In the fifth inning, the Warriors took the lead after a pair of hits by Rylee Stout and Nowak.
In the ninth, first-year infielder Teaghen Amwoza hit a single and Stout hit a sacrifice fly.
With the runner that started one second base, this was enough to put the Warriors up enough to close the game.
Next up, the Warriors have a doubleheader showdown with University of Illinois-Springfield on Saturday, March 9 and a doubleheader against University of Missouri-St. Louis the follow-ing day.
“We are hoping to compete and build on our mental toughness throughout the games this week,” Jones said. “We will be tested by both teams who are obviously very talented and have played a lot more games than we have.”