Softball takes victory after schedule change

Sydney Mohr, Features Editor

Due to weather complications, Winona State University softball games were moved to Wayne State University in Nebraska on Thursday, April 5 for a double header. They came out of the games victorious with two shutouts, 8-0 and 4-0.

The Warriors were also supposed to have a weekend series of game at home this past weekend, but due to weather conditions, the weekend games were cancelled.

“It’s quite upsetting. This was supposed to be our ‘opening weekend,’ but we had to cancel the games due to too much snow on the fields,” head coach Greg Jones said. “We’re unsure at this point if we can reschedule it, but I’m hopeful. The girls have been performing so well this season, I want every chance they can get to show off what they can do.”

On April 5, senior McKenna Larsen started off the afternoon with a four-hit shutout and was the benefactor of the Warriors’ hot at-bats. The Warriors scored five runs in the third inning and plated four more in the fourth, causing the game to shut down to the nine-run rule.

Sophomore Jordyn Kleman took the plate in game two and tossed her first no-hitter of the season. Kleman struck out a career-best 15 batters within the first game.

The Warriors didn’t allow a single run all afternoon, winning the opener in five innings 8-0, and Kleman backing the second game 4-0. Kleman’s no-hit game marked the fourth no-hitter game of her career with the Warriors.

Playing as the home team in Wayne, Kleman struck out the side in the top of the first inning and the Warrior offense got her all the run support she would need in the bottom of the frame. Alison Nowak’s RBI-single plated senior Mariah Schultz for an early 1-0 Winona State lead. Nowak went 4-for-4 with a pair of RBI at the plate in the finale.

First-year Ann Smolenski and junior Lani Van Zyl each drove in runs over the final two innings and Kleman did the rest by breezing through the Wildcat offense in the 4-0 win.

Schultz smacked out her first home run of the season to spark a third inning rally, also bringing in sophomore Katelyn Kolb. Senior Jamee Schleis went 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of RBI to complete the game. Nowak also doubled twice and drove in two runs.

“It was such a fun night of games,” Nowak said. “It sucked having to travel to Nebraska to play, but we really brought things together as a team and worked hard on the field. Plus, it’s fun to be able to do homework and bond with teammates on the bus.”

Thanks to their double win on Thursday, Winona has been bumped to number nine in the conference. Their next series of games are Wednesday, April 11 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. against Minnesota State University, Mankato at home, then the team will take to the road for the weekend, playing at St. Cloud State University on Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and University of Minnesota Duluth on Sunday, April 15 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.