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18U softball: Kinley, Schreier start 18U team off right

DOUG WOLTER/DAILY GLOBE Worthington Area 18U player Brianna Mullaney (6) is congratulated by teammate Rebecca Kazemba (16) after scoring a run against Essig Tuesday at Centennial Field. Bailey Grussing is at left.

WORTHINGTON — Paige Kinley and McKenna Schreier ignited a spark that resulted in a full-on explosion Tuesday.

Both blasted home runs in the first inning in the Worthington Storm 18U softball team’s doubleheader dismantling of Essig. Worthington won the first game 9-1 before a 17-0 pummeling in the nightcap.

“That always helps when you can put a crooked number like that up in the first inning,” Storm coach Joe Kinley said.

The twin bombs opened up a five-run first in the opener. Worthington added two in both the fourth and fifth to put it away.

Brooke Henning had a big night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored in the opener. Kinley and Rebecca Kazemba both went 2-for-3 with Kazemba adding two runs. Schreier was 1-for-2 with a home run.

The beneficiaries of all that offense were Kinley and Bailey Grussing. Kinley pitched the first four innings, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out three. Grussing allowed one run on one hit in the fifth.

It appeared the offense was just getting warmed up. The Storm let loose for 11 runs in the bottom of the first in the second game. Four in the second and three in third ended it in short order.

Stephanie Kazemba was 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored. Taylor Schreier, Rebecca Kazemba, Henning, Kinley, Ida Rogers-Ferguson and Grussing added two hits each.

Rogers-Ferguson had a powerful showing on the hill. She allowed just two hits and struck out eight.

The Storm (12-3-1) will play in a tournament at Fairmont this weekend. Its first game is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday against Duluth.


Worthington 500 22 — 9 10 1

Essig 000 01 — 1 3 1


Essig 000 0 — 0 2 0

Worthington 1142 x — 17 16 0

Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

(507) 376-7335