Prep softball: Windom Area bats come alive in playoff win
WINDOM — It didn’t seem like Windom Area was doing a whole lot with the sticks Friday in its Section 3A South pigtail game against Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove.
But then, almost out of nowhere, the Eagles had taken an 11-1 run-rule victory in six innings.
“Typically our bats come around,” Windom Area coach Jessica Smith said. “For some reason it’s usually at the end of the games.”
Falcons’ pitcher Taylor Willhite held the seventh-seeded Eagles hitless through three innings. Still, two unearned runs in the second had given them a 2-0 lead
Alyssa Fast finally broke the hitting drought in the home half of the fourth when she slammed a two-out double to left-center that scored Meghan Vesey. Megan Theesfeld and Morgan Hockel followed with singles and at the end of four, Windom had taken a 4-0 lead.
“That was a momentum changer,” Smith said. “Our bats did a good job of following up after that.”
Back-to-back errors — the only two of the game by Windom — allowed Taylor Price to circle around and score for No. 10 RRC/W-WG. The Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to extend their lead to 8-1. Fast highlighted that inning by hitting a high fly ball that couldn’t be tracked down by anyone on the infield. Kaylee Janssen scored from third on the play while Vesey circled all the way around from first for a run of her own.
A two-run double by Vesey in the bottom of the sixth brought the Windom lead to 10-1 before Sutton Dewanz dropped in a two-out single off the tip of the Falcons’ second baseman’s mitt to bring Vesey home for the game-ending run.
Vesey was quietly stellar in the win. She allowed no earned runs on just three hits while striking out three.
“We need Meg to throw strikes and limit her walks,” Smith said. “If she does that, I think she could take us quite a way.”
Fast led the Eagles at the plate by going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Vesey was 1-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and three runs.
Willhite took the loss for RRC/W-WG, allowing eight earned runs on nine hits while fanning four. Rachael Kedl was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles with Mikaela Smith adding a basehit of her own.
With the win, Windom Area advances to the Section 3A South quarterfinals where it will take on No. 2-seeded Wabasso at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Wabasso.
“I know they split with Springfield,” Smith said of the Rabbits. “We got four and a half innings in against (Springfield) and we were leading when the game had to be called because of lightning. I think it’s up for grabs. I don’t think they’ll be any tougher than the teams we play in the Southwest Conference.”