Softball moves to second place in the NSIC


Natalie Tyler

Photo of fifth-year catcher Alison Nowak swinging for the Winona State women’s softball team during the games against University of Minnesota-Crookston.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, sports reporter

This weekend, Winona State University’s softball team hit a six-game winning streak as they played Bemidji State University in a doubleheader on Saturday, continuing into the weekend with a doubleheader against University of Minnesota-Crookston on Sunday.
The Warriors swept both games against Bemidji with 8-0 in the first game and 3-0 in the second game.
This continues a winning streak against the Bemidji Beavers, as the last game the Warriors lost was to them was back in the 2016 season with a score of 3-6.
First-year Abbie Hlas continued dominating at bat with a homerun, the fourth of her first season as a Warrior. Among others, fifth-year Katie Kolb also came out strong, just one week after her school record with a run and two doubles.
Fifth-year Jordyn Kleman pitched her second no-hitter of the season in game one, resulting in the ninth no-hitter game of her career so far.
The first no-hitter of her last season as a Warrior was also against Bemidji State on March 3 when the Warriors swept 10-0 at the West St. Paul dome.
Game one also marks winning game 87 of Kleman’s career, which continues to hold the number one spot in Warrior history for both career no-hitters and career wins.
The game was over once the Warriors had scored eight points by the bottom of the fifth with the points being one in the first inning, six in the third inning and one in the fifth, respectively.
In the first inning, Kolb scored after second-year Libby Neveau hit a ground ball.
The team soared into the third inning as first-year Teaghen Amwoza plated fifth-year Ali Nowak with a sacrifice fly and fourth-year Carly Kordich scored a single with the bases loaded. This caused fourth-year Ann Smolenski, fourth-year Rylee Stout and first-year Sam Keller to score.
Kolb brought home the end of the third inning by hitting a double which brough Kordich home, putting the team at 7-0 in three innings.
The team went into the fourth inning needing one more run before the fifth to invoke the five-inning rule, which is a rule that states that if the team scores eight points in the first five innings to the opposing team’s no points, the game is called.
Smolenski brought in a double that led Amwoza home in the fifth to end the game.
“It was a good team effort,” Smolenski said. “A good way for the team to come together.”
Game two was shorter with a score of 3-0 as fourth-year Liz Pautz took the circle to gain another win for the team.
Pautz had one walk and thirteen strikeouts.
Keller hit both the only home run and RBI of the game. Points from the game came from Keller, Stout and third-year Kayla Kerkman.

Natalie Tyler

The Warriors continued the weekend with yet another sweep against the University of Minnesota-Crookston Golden Eagles with 5-0 in game one and 7-1 in game two.
First-year Abbie Hlas continued to have a good weekend as she opened with a solo home run in the bottom of the first.
After Hlas, the first continued to be a successful inning as Ali Nowak scored off Keller’s fly ball and Stout scored off an Amwoza single.
To end the game with five points, Hlas scored once again off of a base hit from Nowak.
In game two, Pautz only had one hit off of her throws as she struck out fifteen Golden Eagles.
In the first inning, Kolb and Nowak both scored off of Stout and Neveau.
In the three frames after the first, Winona State was held scoreless before scoring again in the fifth.
Nowak once again scored Kerman to push Winona State to a
3-1 score.
In the sixth inning, Neveau hit a home run that gave the Warriors a four-run outburst, putting the team
at 7-1.
To finish off the game, Amwoza had a two-run shot to left field. Pautz then ended on a high note as she struck out the last three Golden Eagles.
The Winona State Warriors move to 23-6 overall this season and second place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) conference with 12-4, only behind Augustana who sits at 15-1.
The Warriors will face Augustana only in the last weekend of the regular season on May 8 at their home field.
Kolb reflected on how her and the team’s mindset has changed due to COVID-19, not only forcing them to be more grateful athletes, but people too.
“It’s just cool that you really aren’t granted the next day or the next game,” Kolb said. “Never take anything for granted and be present in the moment that you’re in.”
This week Winona State will be on the road when they face Concordia St. Paul on Wednesday and spend the weekend at St. Cloud State University and University of Minnesota Duluth in doubleheaders.