College softball: Lady Jays hang with St. Cloud Tech -- for a while

WORTHINGTON -- For much of Friday, the Minnesota West women's fast-pitch softball team was nearly the equal of a nationally-ranked, Southern Division-leading St. Cloud Tech squad. But when things went south, they went south in a hurry.Minnesota W...

2462412+MN West St Cloud rgb.jpg
Lady Jays infielder Breanna Nelson throws the ball to first baseman Tanner Gunnink to finish off a St Cloud Tech’s runner Friday. TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE


WORTHINGTON - For much of Friday, the Minnesota West women’s fast-pitch softball team was nearly the equal of a nationally-ranked, Southern Division-leading St. Cloud Tech squad. But when things went south, they went south in a hurry.
Minnesota West trailed just 6-5 after six innings in the first game of a doubleheader at the college field, but the Cyclones busted free in the top of the seventh and prevailed, 15-8.
The Cyclones’ spurt carried over in the second game, a 14-4 decision in five innings.
The Lady Jays, 3-8 on the 2016 campaign, will host Anoka-Ramsey today in a doubleheader beginning at noon.
SCT 15, Lady Jays 8
For six innings, the Lady Jays were within range, but the Cyclones’ nine-run seventh gave them a lead the home team couldn’t erase.
“I think we did a very good job with them going into the seventh inning. It just kind of snowballed on us and got away from us,” said West head coach Jeff Linder.
Minnesota West collected 13 hits in the game, but seven errors - including several in the final inning - contributed to the loss and made a loser of Jay pitcher Taylor Wasmund, who went the distance and allowed just six runs through the first six frames.
Heidi Shelton pitched six complete for St. Cloud Tech and got the win.
Minnesota West hitters Rebecca Linder and Olivia Hopwood each had three hits for West.
Linder was clutch. She drilled a two-out, two-run single to left field in the third inning to put her team in front, 3-2. And in the fifth, she hit a two-out, two-run single up the middle that tied the score at 5-5.
The Lady Jays scored three in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Hopwood and a two-run single by Tanner Gunnink.
St. Cloud 101 031 9 - 15 16 1
Lady Jays 003 020 3 - 8 13 7
SCT 14, Lady Jays 4
Just like in the first game, Minnesota West proved capable of hitting St. Cloud Tech pitching. And the defense committed just two errors. But the Cyclone bats pounded out 15 hits off Jays pitcher Rebecca Kazemba and led 8-0 after three innings.
“They’re a very solid hitting team,” said Coach Linder. “When you throw a faster pitcher at them, they’re going to be able to hit her. Because they’re very used to that.”
Kazemba walked four and struck out two batters in her five innings of work.
Janae Myers got the win for St. Cloud Tech.
Kazemba helped herself at the plate with two hits in three trips, with a triple and a stolen base and two RBIs. Hopwood went 2-for-3. Linder and Wasmund each had a hit and an RBI. Taylor Noid was 2-for-2.
Just like in the first game when the Lady Jays scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh, they refused to roll over in the nightcap, scoring four in the bottom of the seventh.
“They kept fighting as much as they could,” Coach Linder said.
St. Cloud 161 06 - 14 15 0
Lady Jays 000 04 - 4 11 2


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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Minnesota West’s Maer Abella makes it safely to third in the first game of a doubleheader with St. Cloud Tech Friday afternoon. Lady Jays head coach Jeff Linder tells her to stay on the base.

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at
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