College softball: Minnesota West goes 1-2 on opening weekend
AUSTIN -- Minnesota West opened its season under the domed football field in Austin Saturday with a trio of nonconference contests.The Lady Jays experienced one rough inning in a 10-4 loss to Mesabi Range that began the day. They then did battle ...
AUSTIN - Minnesota West opened its season under the domed football field in Austin Saturday with a trio of nonconference contests.
The Lady Jays experienced one rough inning in a 10-4 loss to Mesabi Range that began the day. They then did battle with a stellar Gustavus Adolphus College junior varsity and lost 18-3 before finishing their day on a high note, beating Northland 17-0.
“All in all I’m extremely pleased with the whole day,” West head coach Jeff Linder said. “Those were all good teams that we were playing and all of them had about 15 games under their belts. I think that says a lot about our girls.”
In the Lady Jays’ first game of the season, Mesabi Range went up 3-1 after a three-run bottom of the first. West chipped away and eventually took a 4-3 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth.
The Norse came back with timely hits - including a 3-run home run - to score seven runs in the home half of the frame. That brought the game to its eventual final score of 10-4.
“We were right there,” Linder said. “Our defense was solid but we just had one rough inning.”
Tayler Wasmund took the loss for the Lady Jays in her first collegiate outing. She went six innings, allowing eight earned runs, striking out seven and walking six.
Rebecca Kazemba went 3-for-4 with a double while Olivia Hopwood was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Taylor Noid was 2-for-3 with Breanna Nelson finishing 1-for-4 with an RBI in her college debut.
GAC’s junior varsity slugged 17 hits and took advantage of 11 Minnesota West miscues in an 18-3 victory.
The Lady Jays scored all three of their runs in the top of the fourth.
Becca Linder went all four innings in the pitcher’s circle, allowing seven earned runs. Nelson and Wasmund were both 2-for-3 with an RBI while Linder and Tanner Gunnink also went 2-for-3. Noid was 2-for-2 with a run driven in with Kazemba adding a basehit.
West’s bats exploded in the fourth inning of their third and final game of the day.
Kazemba was mowing down Northland batters all afternoon and her bats eventually caught up. After hanging a 2-spot in the third, the Lady Jays finished with 15 in fourth to put the game away.
“It took us a little bit but I think we kind of got a second wind there in the third inning,” coach Linder said. “We didn’t let off the gas after that. “I’m really proud of them.”
Kazemba toed the rubber all five innings and twirled a five-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking three in the process.
The middle of the Lady Jays batting order was on fire. Hopwood went 3-for-4 with five RBIs while Linder was 3-for-4 with four ribbies. Noid went 3-for-3 with one driven in. Kazemba helped her own cause with two RBIs.
The Lady Jays (1-2 overall, 0-0 MCAC) open up their home schedule at noon on Saturday, April 9, when M-State Fergus Falls travels to Worthington.
R H E
MWest 101 020 0 - 4 9 1
Mesabi 300 070 x 10 11 3
R H E
MWest 000 30 - 3 11 11
GAC 372 6x - 18 17 2
R H E
Northland 000 00 - 0 5 2
MWest 17 14 2