Women’s softball wins three games in twinbill weekend

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, sports reporter

Winona State University’s softball team had a rough start to the week as they got swept by Minnesota State University – Mankato in a double header with scores of 3-1 in the first game and 11-2 in the second game.
This was the Warrior’s first time losing in back-to-back games at home since 2018.
Moving on to the weekend, the team had a split against University of Sioux Falls in a double header with scores of 6-0 with Winona State winning in the first game and a close second game of 9-6 with University of Sioux Falls winning.
Among athletes who had a good game on Saturday is first-year Abbie Hlas who went 3-for-3 with a home run along with second-year Libby Neveau with a pair of doubles In the Sunday afternoon games against Southwest Minnesota State University, the team won game one with a score of 5-1 and game two with a score of 2-1.
This brings a nice end to a mostly split week with two loses against Mankato and a split against
Sioux Falls.
In the game, two of the team’s seniors hit large milestones. Fifth-year pitcher Jordyn Kleman became the Winona State All-Time wins leader with 86 wins, passing pitching coach, Cyndy Jones, who won 85 games between the 1999 and 2002 seasons.
This also places Kleman in the second most victories among active players in division two Softball.
Fifth-year Katie Kolb was the second senior to have a significant milestone as she became player 19 in Winona State Softball history to reach a 200-hit milestone.
In the second game of the day, Hlas continued to dominate as both her and first-year Sam Keller had a home run.
“We’re very strong one through nine [in the batting line up],” Kolb said. “We also have a lot of hitters coming off the bench that get the job done as well.”
While Kolb herself is a phenomenal hitter and “gets the job done”, the team is overall very strong offensively and defensively, as already proven so far in
this season.
First-year Emilee Erickson started for the first time in her collegiate softball career in game two on Sunday, holding the Southwest State Mustangs hitless throughout three innings.
This is the second first-year we’ve seen shine this weekend as Sam Keller hit a solo home run during game two against University of Sioux Falls.
“This team is one of the most talented that I have been on here at Winona State,” Kolb said. “We hold each other to high expectations, and I think our leadership throughout this program
is amazing.”
As a fifth-year student, Kolb hopes to win nationals with a very talented team this season as they continue to progress.
The Warriors play at home next weekend against Bemidji State University on Saturday and University of Minnesota Crookston.
Bemidji was at the bottom of the conference but surprised everyone beating Rodger State, a team that is historically better than Bemidji, at the Hy-vee Classic in Missouri at the beginning of the season.
“We just want to come out with our A-game and play like we know we can,” fourth-year Ann Smolenski said.