Softball finds luck at St. Paddy’s tournament

Sydney Mohr, Sports Reporter

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The Winona State University women’s softball team came out of their weekend tournament in Emporia, Kansas at the Emporia State St. Patrick’s Day Classic with three wins and one loss, bringing their overall season tally to twenty-one wins and three losses. These wins have brought them up to be ranked number seven in their conference.

Head coach Greg Jones was very confident in the girl’s abilities for the weekend.

“These girls have been working so hard and playing so well in the past few weeks. We are currently on a winning streak, and I hope to keep it that way after this weekend,” Jones said.

Their first game was Friday, March 16 at 10 a.m. against Missouri Southern State University. Senior McKenna Larsen started off the Warriors on the mound, bringing the Warriors to victory. With 85 pitches over 8.0 IP, she was able to take in her sixth win of the year. Larsen only allowed in one run at the bottom of the eighth and five hits overall throughout the game.

Senior Mariah Schultz and junior Lani Van Zyl led the game in batting, with Schultz going up to bat twice, getting one run and one RBI within the first game, and Van Zyl with four at bats and one hit and one RBI. Van Zyl’s RBI in the eighth inning was enough to bring Schultz home and break the one to one score. The other run was scored by senior Samantha McLean in the eighth inning.

Game two took place against University of Central Oklahoma at 12 p.m. on Friday, March 16. Sophomore Jordyn Kleman took over pitch

ing, managing to let only six hits through and strike out four batters throughout the eight innings, while only one run actually reached home plate in the last inning of the game. Her teammates were of great help, managing out twelve hits and bringing in seven runs over five innings. Sophomore Alison Nowak, and first-years Rylee Stout and Jen Giesey all brought in a pair of runs over the course of eight innings.

First-year Carly Kordich had an RBI-groundout to bring home the first Warrior run in the second inning, and Giesey stretched that to two runs in the third frame. By the end of the fifth, the Warriors had a 4-0 lead thanks to a two out RBI-double and an RBI-single. The Bronchos plated their solo run within the fifth inning.

Saturday afternoon brought around a new round of games. At noon, the Warriors went head to head with Pittsburg State University and brought their winning streak up to seventeen straight games. The final score was 9-3 for that game, with five runs in the first inning and four in the fourth. Stout managed to hit two into the outfield, causing the outfield to scramble and miss her pop-fly. Van Zyl brought in her seventh home run this season, bringing the Warriors to a 3-0 lead. Larsen took the mound once again, allowing two runs in the first but not a single more throughout the rest of the game. She also managed to strike out six batters throughout eight innings, a season best for her.

The Warriors then suffered their first loss in 17 games on Saturday, March 17 at 2 p.m. when they faced against Northeastern University. Sophomore Jordyn Kleman pitched against Northwestern, and this was her first loss as a pitcher. She allowed seven runs on ten hits over 4.1 IP. The Riverhawks managed three home runs in one inning, causing the win. The Warriors were cold at bat with only one hit when Van Zyl shot one into the infield for an on base single.

“It was a tough game,” Van Zyl said. “But we all knew we were better and we’re going to try and get Emporia tomorrow. We’re such a close team, and we know how to communicate on the field. Tomorrow we have to just buckle down and hit the bats.”

Just like Van Zyl hoped, the Warriors took the win on Sunday, March 18 at 12 p.m. against Emporia State University. After an eleven inning battle, the Warriors won 8-7. Larsen took over for pitching and struck out eight players.

The next games will take place in Fayette, Iowa on Tuesday, March 27 against Upper Iowa University at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.