A trio of sweeps for Winona State softball; Coach Jones nabs his 900th win on the road

Coach Greg Jones achieved his 900th career win with the Winona State Womens Softball team. Coach Jones and the Warriors currently sit at an impressive eight out of ten games won this season.

Contributed by: Winona State University

Coach Greg Jones achieved his 900th career win with the Winona State Women’s Softball team. Coach Jones and the Warriors currently sit at an impressive eight out of ten games won this season.

Kailey Doeseckle, Sports Editor

It was a busy week for the Winona State University softball team as they travelled away from the chill of Minnesota to the hot and sandy beaches of Clermont, Fl. for The Spring Games.   

With an astounding eight wins among the ten games, head coach Greg Jones also notched his 900th career win adding to the teams extensive list of achievements this season. 

The Warriors used stellar pitching from Abbie Hlas and timely hitting to open their trip with a 3-0 win against California University of Pennsylvania.  

Hlas managed to keep the Vulcans off the scoreboard while Libby Neveau led Winona State at the plate, going 2-3 with a walk and an RBI after gaining the lead.  

Against Dominican College (NY), the Chargers delivered the first punch on a two-run homer in the top of the first inning to take an early lead, but the Warriors responded with runs in each of the five innings resulting in a score of 7-3.  

It was with these two victories that Jones seized his 900th career win, making him the 12th active NCAA Division II softball coach to reach 900 wins and currently holds a 900-304-4 record.  

“I love coaching this team,” Jones said. “They have shown a great resiliency and passion for the game and the work that goes into it.”  

With an accomplished coach comes an accomplished team, and the Warriors certainly showed up in the remaining games of their spring trip.  

It was on day two that Winona State almost made history again, hanging tough against top-ranked Rogers State University before falling at 3-0. Battling back against Clarion University, they took a 6-5 win in the eighth inning to earn a split.  

Balanced pitching performances from four different Warriors and some timely hitting by young talent like Savannah Serdynski resulted in Winona State’s second sweep in just three days, beating Ferris State University at 6-2 and Holy Family University with a score of 7-0.  

The fourth day brought yet another sweep for Winona State thanks to standout Hlas who, against Lewis University, held the opposers to just four hits.  

Carly Engelhardt hit a two-run home run in the beginning of the first inning to take the Warriors at an early lead, followed quickly by Marissa Mullen who would give Winona State the third run. Despite two runs for the opposers, Hlas and the defense held the Flyers scoreless the rest of the game to secure their win at 3-2.  

“We all play for the program instead of just ourselves,” Neveau said. “We push each other and hold each other accountable while playing with pride.” 

The connection of the team certainly beamed throughout this trip, and especially so within these last few harshly battled games. 

Abby Smith threw six innings of shutout softball while Hlas and Engelhardt both drove in a pair of runs to lead the Warriors offensively against Cedarville University to claim their win at 6-1. 

Winona would unfortunately suffer another split on their final day of the 2023 Warrior spring break trip.  

Alderson Broaddus was certainly a comeback game for Winona State after the Battlers scored a trio of runs in the fourth frame to claim a 3-1 edge after taking advantage of Warrior error. However, after a series of excellent plays Winona State would move the scoreboard to 4-3 where it would stay for the rest of the game. 

The tenth and final game played in The Spring Games for Winona State would be against Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where the Eagles would manage to squeak by Winona State with a final score of 4-3.  

With only two losses throughout the ten games played, Winona State would move their overall score to an impressive 15-6. Next weekend they will travel to Pittsburg, Kan. For a five-game spree where they will hopefully wrack up a few more wins.