18-AND-UNDER SOFTBALL: Worthington Area sweeps NUWORTHINGTON — Fielding a squad with players from several area high schools, the Worthington Area Storm 18-and-under fastpitch softball team opened its season with a pair of wins.
By: Lance Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Fielding a squad with players from several area high schools, the Worthington Area Storm 18-and-under fastpitch softball team opened its season with a pair of wins.
WA (2-0) swept New Ulm Red at Centennial Field with an 8-3 win in six innings in the opener (shortened due to a 90-minute time limit) and a 10-4 victory in Game 2.
The Storm roster consists of players from the area, including players that played for high school softball for Adrian Area, Southwestern United and Worthington.
“This is our first time really playing as a team,” Storm Game 1 pitcher Angela Robinson said. “We have some new players on the team. It was nice to come out strong and get the win.”
Robinson, who pitched every inning for the Worthington Trojan softball team this spring, pitched WA to victory in the opener.
The right hander allowed three unearned runs on five hits and a hit batter, while striking out five.
“I haven’t pitched in a game since [the Trojan] season ended,” Robinson said. “I’ve had a couple of practices, but I felt that I wasn’t as good as I could have been. But I thought that we played pretty well as a team.”
Robinson’s only rough inning was the top of the first when NUR scored three runs on three hits and a pair of Storm errors.
However, the home team stormed back with four runs in the bottom half of the opening inning and Robinson cruised from there.
In the home half of the first, WA loaded the bases when Rachel Kontz (1-for-2 with a stolen base) was hit by a pitch, Rebecca Kazemba (1-for-1 with an RBI) walked and Christine Kazemba (3-for-3 with a stolen base) singled.
Kontz scored to make it 3-1 when Robinson (RBI) was hit by a pitch, followed by K.C. Riley (3-for-3 with a double, triple and an RBI) cutting the deficit to one run with a RBI single.
An RBI groundout by Jenny Majerus (two RBIs) tied the game before Shaina Lonneman (RBI) dropped down an RBI sacrifice bunt to give the Storm all the runs they needed.
“We had some good hits to the outfield in the game,” Storm coach Randy Robinson said. “For our first game, the girls really looked sharp.”
“We also had good bunts when we needed them. Good bunts for sacrifices and hits that we got several runs from.”
WA added two runs in the second when Rebecca Kazemba beat out an RBI bunt single that scored Kayla Lonneman (hit by pitch, stolen base) and Amy Bents (1-for-2 with a stolen base) crossed home following a NUR error.
Riley pushed the lead to 7-3 when she led off the bottom of the third with a double to left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brandie Timmerman (1-for-2 with a double and an RBI).
Riley and Timmerman combined for the opener’s final run in the fifth when Riley led off with a triple to right and scored on Timmerman’s double to left.
Besides the two errors in the first, the Storm committed just one more mistake the rest of way, making plays when needed and allowing Angela Robinson to retire 17 of the final 22 New Ulm batters.
“The team played good defense behind me,” Angela Robinson said. “It’s nice to have good backup out there.”
In the nightcap, the Storm allowed the visitors to stake a 3-0 lead after four innings before plating two in the fifth, five in the sixth and three in the seventh to cap off the sweep with a 10-4 decision.
Christine Kazemba (one strikeout) started in the circle for the Storm and hurled four innings and gave way to Kontz, who K’ed four in the final three innings to pick up the win.
Angela Robinson (three-run triple) and Rebecca Kazemba each had a pair of hits in Game 2, while Riley and Shaina Lonneman each doubled.
“The girls performed real well,” Randy Robinson said. “They hit the ball good and played good defense. It was a nice way to start off the season.”
The Storm look to build off the season-opening wins Thursday when they host the Diamonds 18’s in a doubleheader.
First pitch at Centennial Field is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Game 1 R H E
NUR 300 000 – 3 5 2
WA 421 01X – 8 10 3
Game 2 R H E
WA 000 025 3 – 10 12 1
NUR 021 010 0 – 4 4 2
NU 10, WA 4 (16U)
NEW ULM – The 16-and-under Worthington Area fastpitch softball team didn’t fare as well as its older counterparts Tuesday night.
New Ulm swept the Storm 16U team with victories of 10-4 in five innings and 11-4 in six innings.
Paige Kinley belted a two-run home run and finished 2-for-3 in the first game, while Aleanna Heig and Ida Rogers-Ferguson also finished 2-for-3.
Miranda LeBrun doubled and went 1-for-3 in Game 2, followed by Betsy Thompson’s 1-for-2.
The Storm 16U team travels to Welcome Thursday.
Game 1 R H E
WA 200 11 – 4 10 6
NU 127 00 – 10 6 3
Game 2 R H E
NU 008 120 – 11 5 2
WA 010 201 – 4 7 3