MW SOFTBALL: MW splits doubleheaderWORTHINGTON — Despite a disappointing start to their doubleheader, the Lady Jays softball team turned things around in the second game, splitting their series with Anoka-Ramsey Friday.
WORTHINGTON — Despite a disappointing start to their doubleheader, the Lady Jays softball team turned things around in the second game, splitting their series with Anoka-Ramsey Friday.
Minnesota West lost the first game 10-6 and won the second game in five innings 13-5.
But at the end of the day, the team was pleased with its performance against a conference rival.
“We did much better in that second game. We really bounced back,” MW coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka said. “I think we were anxious in that first game. And then when they came out and got five runs against us right away in the first inning of the second game, that doesn’t always make things better. But I’m proud and excited that we didn’t fall apart. We responded and that can be tough sometimes after a game like that.”
The Lady Jays (3-2) got down quick in the second game after Katherine Kazemba gave up five runs on three hits in the first inning.
But MW responded immediately.
A single by Alayna Hall, an Erin Ebbers walk and a Kazemba bunt quickly loaded the bases for MW with no outs in the first inning.
Steph Behrens’ single up the middle brought in two runs to make the score 5-2 and put runners on first and second.
Cheyenne Platz followed up with an RBI-single to left-center and put runners on the corners with no outs.
Two batters later, Randa Knutson hit an RBI-double to left-center to bring the Lady Jays within one run of the Golden Rams.
Platz eventually scored on dropped third strike when Ashley Sell was at the plate, tying the game at 5-all.
“We were much more aggressive on the basepaths in the second game,” Hayenga-Hostikka said. “We hit the ball hard and we created opportunities for ourselves. That is a good sign because scoring runs is going to be key this season. We’re not going to have 1-0 games in this conference, so being aggressive and scoring runs is a must.”
The Lady Jays scored three runs in the second inning on RBIs from Alyson Drooger (2) and Knutson.
Platz and Drooger each had an RBI in the fourth inning, bringing the score to 10-5. And Ebbers and Kazemba combined for three RBIs in the fifth inning to make the final score 13-5 in favor of MW.
Kazemba finished the game with five earned runs, seven hits, three strikeouts and two walks.
“I think I did all right,” Kazemba said. “There’s still room for improvement. I have some things I need to work out still.”
In the first game, Ebbers’ day on the mound didn’t go quite as she would have liked it to go.
The first five innings went fairly smooth for Ebbers and MW. By the start of the fifth inning, the game was tied at 5-all.
But the fifth inning was the disaster inning the Lady Jays try to avoid each game.
With one out, Ebbers allowed four runners to cross the plate and gave up a walk and three hits. By the end of the inning, the Golden Rams had scored five runs and were up 10-5.
The Lady Jays managed to gain one run back on their opponent when Knutson hit an RBI-single in the bottom of the seventh inning, but that was as close as they would come.
Ebbers finished the game with nine earned runs, one unearned run, 11 hits, two strikeouts and seven walks.
“Erin really struggled with the strike zone in that game,” Hayenga-Hostikka said. “Otherwise, I don’t really know what happened there for us. We just didn’t hit the ball well. Their big inning came late, so it didn’t give us much time to formulate a comeback either. That’s what got us into trouble.”
MW plays again today in a doubleheader against St. Cloud Tech on the road. The first game starts at noon.
With the split Friday, the Lady Jays are now 3-2 on the season. They return to Worthington on Tuesday to take on Ridgewater, the “perennial powerhouse” in softball as Hayenga-Hostikka likes to refer to that team.
“There aren’t really any easy points in this season,” Hayenga-Hostikka said. “Every team in our conference is tough and we’re always going to have to be on top of our game if we want to win.”
Game 1 R H E
AR 103 015 0 — 10 11 2
MW 201 200 1 — 6 13 2
Game 2 R H E
AR 500 00X X — 5 7 1
MW 530 23X X — 13 15 0
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.