Sam Thiel/ Winonan
The No. 15 Winona State University softball team escaped the cold weather for some Florida sun over spring break and came away with an 8-2 record in six days.
Starting March 8 the Warriors defeated Ohio Dominican 7-2 and later beat Bloomsburg 10-1 in five frames.
Natalie Kalmes got the Warriors on the board in the second inning with a two-run shot to left after Ohio Dominican scored two early runs. Winona State then got another run from Reed Karsten on an RBI triple to go up 3-2.
Kalmes later made the score 4-2 after reaching home on an error. Winona State tacked on a trio of runs in the sixth with an Ashley Walker RBI single and an error. Shannon Nelson scored Jessica Kullman for the final run of the game on a single.
In the nightcap of the first day, Hanna Lythberg continued with a strong effort on the hill, going five innings with a trio of strikeouts and earning her fifth victory on the season.
Morgan Lintz started things off with an RBI thanks to the fielder’s choice. Paige Keegan and Lintz then contributed a couple of runs to give Winona State a 3-0 lead.
Bloomsburg managed to get a run in the fourth, but Winona State answered with two runs of their own in the fifth, extending their winning score 10-1.
The following day the Warriors swept Northwood (Mich.) and Ferris State.
Winona State used 21 combined hits to its advantage, giving up only eight hits in both games.
In game one, the Warriors got on the board first with an RBI groundout from Kullmann, who added a solo bomb in the fourth. Karsten plated a pair of runners in the fourth as well to put Winona State up 4-0.
Perez and Lintz made it 6-0 in the seventh with a pair of runs before Northwood answered with two of their own.
Walker notched her fifth victory of the season, allowing five hits and two runs with four strikeouts.
The Warriors brought out the bats in the nightcap, going deep three times en route to a 7-2 victory. Kullmann, Karsten and Lintz all connected for Winona State to lead the way for the Warriors.
The Warriors got another RBI from Karsten in the top of the seventh to make it 7-0 before the Bulldogs produced two runs to make it the 7-2 final.
Lythberg came up with another solid outing on the hill, tossing a complete game and three hits and two runs as well as eight strikeouts.
The Warrior offense continued its recent burst, this time cruising to a 10-0 victory against Millersville before dropping the nightcap, an 8-5 loss to the hands of Maryville Tuesday.
Winona State quickly grabbed 4-0 lead in the first against Millersville, with Allyson O’Herron recording a double that scored two and Karly Olson and Evie Schaller each picking up RBI singles.
The Warriors reached a double-digit lead in the fourth with a Shannon Nelson single that plated a runner to send Millersville home in five innings.
Morgan Lintz picked up her first victory of the season, allowing two hits and fanning two.
The nightcap ended with Winona State falling for just the second time all season, stopping the Warriors’ six-game win streak in the process.
Winona State jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the first, but Maryville knotted the game in the bottom of the frame. The Warriors answered with a bases loaded walk by Lintz in the second.
After the Saints plated a trio of runs in the third to knock out Alex Walker from the hill with a 5-3 lead, Winona State tied the game again at five in the fifth thanks to a sac fly from a bunt single by Perez.
Maryville answered back, however, with three more runs in the sixth to claim the 8-5 victory.
The Warriors got strong outings from Walker and Lythberg, each netting complete game shutouts to give the No. 12 Winona State softball team a pair of victories against California (Pa.) and Tiffin on Thursday.
Winona State took the first game 7-0 before Kullmann provided a single in the ninth for the 1-0 walk-off win in the nightcap.
Walker went seven innings while fanning six and allowing five hits and no runs.
Lintz started the scoring for Winona State, recording an RBI single before Kalmes gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead with a home run that stayed inside the fence.
The Warriors added four more runs in the sixth before Shannon Nelson chipped in an RBI single to ice the 7-0 win.
Lythberg was sharp in the second game, as both starters didn’t give up a run until the final frame. Lythberg allowed six hits while striking out seven in nine innings of work.
In the ninth inning, with international tiebreaker rules in effect, Walker was put on second to start the inning. After a Lintz sacrifice advanced Walker, Kullmann posted the biggest hit of the day with a single to center to give Winona State the victory.
The No. 14 Warriors then traveled to St. Joseph, Mo. to participate in the Missouri Western Tournament.
The Warriors recorded a pair of losses at the hands of Central Oklahoma and Washburn Friday in Missouri.
Winona State fell in game one 2-0 and later was blanked 5-0 by Washburn in the nightcap.
The Warriors were able to bounce back with a pair of victories, beating Northwest Missouri State 3-2 and Pittsburg State 7-3 Saturday in Missouri.
In game one, Lintz scored all of Winona State’s runs. The senior had a single that scored a pair in the first.
Walker allowed two hits and no runs in four innings as Winona State took an early 2-0 lead into the fifth.
The Bearcats, however, did not back down, tying the game with a home run and an RBI single over the next two innings.
Lintz responded with a go-ahead home run to center to put Winona State up 3-2 as Walker came on and snuffed any comeback hopes in the seventh.
In the nightcap the Warriors created a 7-0 advantage in six innings of play. Pittsburg State tried to come back with a trio of runs in the seventh, but the Warriors made sure it would be all they got.
Kalmes blasted a solo homer in the third to score first. She later chipped in an RBI double and gave Winona State a 3-0 advantage.
The Warrior offense then took over, exploding with four runs in the sixth highlighted by bases clearing RBI triple that scored three by Karsten to put Winona State up 7-0.
Lythberg earned her ninth victory of the season, scattering six hits and three runs with six strikeouts in a complete game effort.
The Warriors wrapped up the Missouri Western Tournament with a pair of losses, falling 9-3 to Emporia State and 8-0 to Missouri Western Sunday in St. Joseph, Mo.
Emporia State added to its 6-0 lead after two innings in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs to make it 8-1. The score would stay that way until the bottom of the fifth when the Warriors plated two runs to cut the deficit to 8-3 before Emporia scored the final run in the sixth.
The Warriors dropped its finale against Missouri Western 8-0 Sunday afternoon.
The Warriors found themselves down 1-0 heading into the fifth, but allowed seven runs over the next two innings for the 8-0 shutout.
Lythberg picked up the loss for the Warriors as Winona State managed three hits on the game.
Winona State will now head home for a doubleheader matchup against Upper Iowa Thursday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.