Softball splits six-game weekend play
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