Softball sees more schedule changes

The+Winona+State+Women%E2%80%99s+Softball+Team+warm+up+before+a+game+against+St.+Cloud+State+University+on+Friday%2C+April+12.+The+Warriors+played+a+double+header+against+the+Huskies%2C+loosing+their+first+game+1-3+and+coming+back+with+a+3-2+win.+

Natalie Tyler

The Winona State Women’s Softball Team warm up before a game against St. Cloud State University on Friday, April 12. The Warriors played a double header against the Huskies, loosing their first game 1-3 and coming back with a 3-2 win.

Sydney Mohr, Sports Reporter

The Warriors headed upstate on Friday, April 13 for a doubleheader against St. Cloud State University, with games taking place at St. Cloud’s indoor field. Their results were split, with a first game loss of 1-3 and then a win 3-2 to end their weekend series.

The Warriors were supposed to play again on Sunday, April 15 at the University of Minnesota Duluth, but due to unsafe weather conditions, the games were cancelled. This is the third doubleheader that has been cancelled this season due to snow.

“It’s been such a disappointment,” head coach Greg Jones said in reference to the cancellation of yet another series of games. “But sadly, we can’t stop Mother Nature, so we have to play around her.”

Heading into their doubleheader on Friday, the Warriors were in high spirits as they defeated Minnesota State University-Mankato the night before on their home field, 6-5 and 8-0. Senior McKenna Larsen was on the mound for game one, only allowing in four runs in the five innings she pitched. Sophomore Jordyn Kleman took over in inning five, finishing the game for the team before pitching game two where she struck out seven Mankato athletes and completed the win for game two.

On Friday, the Warriors could not pull it off in the first of two in the series. They trailed the Huskies 1-0 through five innings until a two-out double by Larsen in the sixth inning sparked the Warriors into action.

First-year Rylee Stout followed with a single up the middle to bring home pinch runner senior Mariah Schultz, tying the game up 1-1.

However St. Cloud State responded with two more runs leaving the Warriors at a 1-3 loss for the first game.

Game two brought high energy from the team, with the action intensifying in the final innings with the Warriors beginning to score in the sixth. The Huskies answered quickly with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth and suddenly had the Warriors on the brink of a sweep. entering the final frame.

Senior Jamee Schleis reached base the hard way after being hit by a pitch, but it was exactly what Winona needed to open the top of the seventh. Pinch runner and first-year Kristina Ahlers moved to second on a bunt by senior Sam McLean that yielded zero outs for the Huskies and sophomore Katelyn Kolb was walked to load the bases for Winona State.

Two batters later, junior Lani Van Zyl knotted the score at 2-2 on a sacrifice fly.

After Jordyn Kleman did not allow a score in the seventh, the Warriors again put together a two-out rally to plate the game-winning run. McLean’s fielder’s choice scored Stout to give Winona its first lead of the game, 3-2.

Kleman kept the Huskies down in the bottom of the eighth to pick up the win for the Warriors. The sophomore allowed two runs on just five hits over 8.0 IP while striking out 12 batters.

With the win, Winona State now sits in a tie for first place with Augustana in the NSIC standings at 31-5 (10-2 in conference play).

“It’s been such an amazing season,” Van Zyl said. “The team has worked well together and we’re learning every single game. I hope the rest of the season can be as good as the beginning.”

Next, Winona State is set to play Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota on Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and University of Mary on Sunday, April 22 in Bismarck, North Dakota at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.