Falcons rout Trojans, 12-4 (Maras goes 3-for-4 for RRC/W-WG)
WORTHINGTON -- Playing on the field for the first time all year Tuesday, the Worthington Trojans had a sluggish start and could not recover in a 12-4 loss to Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove in a non-conference softball game.
"For the first game, Audra (Schmidt) threw well, and the bats hit the ball about as well as we can expect right now," RRC/W-WG head coach Derek Stevenson said. "Our first day outside was yesterday for about 45 minutes to an hour, so this is a new experience for us, but we have a lot to build on. It was a good game."
Schmidt earned the victory, allowing one earned run, while striking out eight and walking three in seven innings of work.
"It was the first time pitching off the base, but I think I did pretty good," Schmidt said. "The pitches I threw weren't all on; for the most part, I did all right."
While Schmidt allowed just four hits, the Falcons (1-0) gave their pitcher an early cushion.
After Jenny Hoffman walked to start the game, Shannon Altermatt reached on an error, and Kelly Shaner walked to load the bases.
The Trojans (0-1) were able to get two outs without surrendering a run, but Steph Maras hit a two-RBI single to give RRC/W-WG a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
"We kind of put ourselves in a hole early in the game," Worthington head coach Sam Baumgartner said. "We weren't as sharp on defense as we needed to be for (pitcher) Jordan (Wiertzema)."
Worthington threatened in the bottom of the inning, but Hoffman made a running catch in the right-center gap with two runners on to end the threat.
"We made some nice plays, and we had a couple of opportunities where we had some well-hit balls that they made some nice plays on," Baumgartner said. "Their centerfielder made a nice catch early in the game, but what can you do?"
Feeding off the momentum, RRC/W-WG added four runs in the top of the second, fueled by a two-RBI triple from Kelly Shaner, as the Falcons had a 6-0 lead after two innings.
"It definitely helps to get some runs right away in the first two innings," Stevenson said. "Especially when Audra throws well, and she did today."
With a scoreless third inning, the Falcons once again got on the board in the fourth. Nichole Schroeder and Emily Neperman hit back-to-back triples as RRC/W-WG added three more runs en route to a 9-0 lead.
However, the Trojans got on the board in the fourth. Wiertzema walked to start the rally, and Kristen Dierks, who relieved Wiertzema on the mound in the fourth, singled.
Hannah Solem hit a long fly ball that was misplayed, scoring Wiertzema and Dierks -- cutting the deficit to 9-2.
"We swung the bats well today for the most part," Baumgartner said. "We had a few strikeouts, so we need to work on that and cut that down. If our defense plays like it should and like it's capable of, we should be fine."
After another RRC/W-WG run in the top of the sixth, Worthington pushed two runs across in the bottom of the inning behind an RBI triple from Carrie Timmerman, as the Trojans pulled within six, 10-4.
"I just told the girls that I thought, from my perspective, after getting six runs, our energy level dropped, and we kind of just ho hum and lets get this game over with," Stevenson said.
Behind a home run from Schroeder and a triple from Neperman, the Falcons added two runs in the seventh, en route to a 12-4 victory.
"We played really good for our first game without being on the field at all," Schmidt said.
Dierks threw four innings in relief, allowing two earned runs and five hits while striking out five.
"I told the girls once Kristen came in that we needed to win the game, and we did," Baumgartner said. "We won 4-3 with Kristen pitching."
The Falcons will travel to Brewster Thursday to face Southwestern United.
"We're hoping to get first in the conference this year," Schmidt said. "It's been one of our goals for the past couple of years. I think we're going to be a pretty strong team and a threat."
The Trojans will host Edgerton Friday.
R H E
R/W 040 301 2 -- 12 12 2
WHS 000 202 0 -- 4 4 5