MW softball: Lady Jays split with Riverland

WORTHINGTON -- If only they'd managed a clutch hit in the opener, the Minnesota West softball team might have swept visiting Riverland Tuesday in the Lady Jays' first games of the 2017 season.As it turned out, the home-standing Jays settled for a...

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Minnesota West's Taylor Noid (2) steals second base as Riverland Community College's Katlyn Leinald (22) and Brandi Meyers (12) try to get the ball under control in Worthington on Tuesday. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- If only they’d managed a clutch hit in the opener, the Minnesota West softball team might have swept visiting Riverland Tuesday in the Lady Jays’ first games of the 2017 season.
As it turned out, the home-standing Jays settled for a split, winning the second game 6-4 behind a solid Brooklyn Barnett pitching performance after getting eclipsed in the first game 3-2.
All in all, a good day for a team consisting of only 10 players against a Riverland team that had already played half a dozen games this spring.
“I thought it was a great start,” head coach Jeff Linder said. “We could’ve won this first game -- we didn’t get the timely hits. The second game, there was a lot of pressure at the end on Brooklyn, and they were solid.”
Barnett, staked out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, kept her team in front throughout the second game. She took a 6-2 lead into the seventh inning where the Blue Devils rallied with a pair of runs. But with the bases loaded, a line drive to shortstop resulted in a double-play, and the Jays celebrated.
“I think all the jitters are out. I think in that first game a lot of us were nervous,” Barnett said.
She was asked to rate her own pitching performance.
“I know how I’m supposed to do it, so I really work on my technique. And if I throw a bad pitch, I usually know what I can do to fix it,” she said.
Minnesota West out-hit Riverland 13-11 in the second game, starting fast as Barnett, Tanner Gunnink, Ashlynn Wabeke and Emily Haubrich all hit safely in the first. Riverland scored twice in the second but was held scoreless in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Three-base hits by Katherin Ihnen and Haubrich highlighted the West half of the fifth, giving the Lady Jays breathing room.
In the first game, a route-going pitching performance by Ihnen resulted in a loss. She pitched well enough to win, but the West offense stranded several runners in scoring position. The Jays’ only runs scored in the fourth on a one-out double by Haubrich and an RBI single by Gunnink, and in the sixth on a ball dropped by Riverland in right field.
The fifth inning ended with West runners stranded on second and third base. The potential tying run was stranded at second base in the seventh.
Minnesota West will get back into action today at Dordt JV.
Riverland 200 010 0 -- 3 7 1
Minnesota West 000 101 0 -- 2 9 2
Riverland 020 000 2 -- 4 11 1
Minnesota West 400 020 x -- 6 13 3


Related Topics: SOFTBALL
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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