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Danny Moriarty / Winonan
Winona State University baseball finished their home opener weekend by taking home the win in the first three of four games.
The Warriors’ double headers against the University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles began Sunday, March 19. Junior Mitchell Stalsberg had an 11-strikeout complete game performance that boosted the Warriors to their first win of the season, taking the first game 3-0. Game two was a nail-biter that led to a walk off hit from junior Mitchell Heid.
The Warriors started off the scoring in game one in the second inning when senior Michael Hommes hit a line drive to right for a double, scoring two runs to put the Warriors up 2-0.
Stalsberg had a 1-2-3 inning in the third, as a strikeout, ground out and fly out ended the inning. The Warriors would do the same, as a groundout, fly out and a line out ended the third inning of play.
Stalsberg set Crookston down for the second straight inning as he recorded his seventh straight out.
Crookston ended Stalsberg’s streak with a walk before junior Mitchell Bonrhauser singled putting runners on first and third with nobody out. Stalsberg followed with back-to-back strikeouts before a groundout allowed him to escape the inning scoreless.
When faced in those situations, Stalsberg said, “You got to take one out at a time, believe you have the stuff to get out of it and try to allow as few runs as you can. Those are iffy situations that are hard to get out of.”
Junior Joe Kubera started the fifth inning with a walk and later advanced to second on a passed ball and then to third. Senior Jesus Cazares then hit a double to the right field wall, scoring Kubera and giving Stalsberg more insurance.
Stalsberg took the mound once again in the seventh and final inning of game one looking for a complete game shutout.
“Mitchell Heid was the reason we won,” head coach Kyle Poock said. “We also got a few key hits and runs to back him up, which we were not able to do much so far this year with our pitchers.”
In game two, Crookston achieved an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. This score would remain until the eighth inning.
Back-to-back errors by the Golden Eagles put runners on first in second to begin the bottom of the eighth. A sacrifice bunt by first-year Treyton Larson advanced both runners. Kubera ended the scoring drought by singling to second base and driving in junior Kipp Youngquist and first-year Chad Herbst advanced to third.
A passed ball scored Herbst and the game was tied. The Warriors could not finish the game, as a strikeout ended the inning.
Junior Taylor Field forced a walk with one out in the bottom half of the ninth junior Mitchell Heid then roped a double to deep right center, Field rounded the bases and dove home to seal the Warriors walk of victory.
The two teams faced again Monday for another doubleheader. The Warriors took game one 5-0.
Scoring opened in the third when Larson drew a one out walk to get things start. Hommes singled to center field as Larson moved up to third. Larson would come home on Kubera’s sac fly to right field.
Hommes singled to center, moving Larson to third after he reached on a walk. Larson would cross home after a Kubera sac fly to right field.
Kubera would strike again in the fifth, scoring first-year Derek Martin and advancing Larson to third. Kubera would then steal second to put runners on second and third. Cazares doubled to left field, driving in both Larson and Kubera, giving Winona State a 5-0 lead.
Senior Daniel Karlin-Kamin finished the day with seven strikeouts, scattering four hits in the complete game win.
Game two went to the Golden Eagles, taking down the Warriors 11-6.
Crookston took the lead in the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits to move the score 7-2.
Larson, Hommes, Kubera, Cazares and Sam Kohnle all had two hits in the second game of the day. Cazares finished with three RBI’s.
The Warriors remain at home this weekend as they continue conference play against Bemidji State University (9-4 overall) in a double header beginning at 12 p.m.
By Danny Moriarty
Adam Kirk / Winonan
The Winona State University softball team won three games during their six-game roadtrip to St. Joseph, Mo. last weekend.
The Warriors began their away games with two losses against the Pittsburg State University Gorillas and the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos on Friday, March 17.
Winona State gave up two runs in the second inning against Pittsburg State and were held scoreless, losing 2-0. Junior McKenna Larsen pitched five innings, giving up the two runs with one strikeout. The Warriors failed to spark anything offensively and finished the game with one hit.
The offensive struggle continued in the second game on Friday. The Bronchos scored a run in the second inning, and then again in the fifth, while the Warriors did not score in the game with a final score of 2-0.
On Saturday, Winona State first faced the Washburn University Ichabods and found some success on offense in the fourth inning.
Junior Samantha McLean gave the Warriors the lead with a double that drove in two runs. Junior Mariah Schultz followed by driving in McLean to put Winona State ahead by three. Larsen pitched seven innings, giving up one run as the Warriors won 3-1.
The Warriors played their second game of the day against the Northeastern State University RiverHawks. Schultz started the Warriors’ scoring in the second inning with a solo home run. The RiverHawks answered back with a home run the following inning.
Winona State regained the lead with a single from sophomore Lani Van Zyl, scoring first-year Katelyn Kolb.
Northeastern scored twice in the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead, concluding the scoring for the game.
In the final day of weekend games, Winona State played the Fort Hays State University and found their offensive rhythm. They scored in every inning except the first, totaling 11 runs. Junior Jamee Schleis went 3-3 with three RBIs and a home run to lead the Warrior offense. Schultz went 3-4 with a home run and three RBIs as well. Her home run ended the game in the sixth inning due to the run rule. First-year Jaida Reynen pitched six innings, giving up three runs in the fifth inning.
“We had a rough first day, losing to two good teams,” Van Zyl said. “But we were able to play well the next two days”
Winona State kept their offensive momentum going into the second game against the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Kolb started the scoring in the fourth inning as she reached home on an error by Nebraska-Kearney.
Van Zyl drove in two more runs, and then scored on a single from Schultz to give the Warriors a 4-0 lead.
The four runs would be enough for Winona State as first-year student Jordyn Kleman pitched seven innings with six strikeouts only giving up three hits.
“We’re playing well against good teams,” Schleis said. “We’re winning the games we should be winning but we need to find a way to win close games.”
The Warriors are 19-6 overall and will begin conference play Tuesday, March 28 against the Peacocks from Upper Iowa University in Winona.
By Adam Kirk