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Prep softball: Trojans come back, beat BEA

WORTHINGTON -- Olivia Petersen stood on second base representing the game-winning run Friday in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and the score knotted at 15-15.At the crack of fellow senior Katie Rogers' bat, Petersen was off. The high, lo...

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Worthington Trojans base runner Megan Kluever slides into home plate Friday as the Blue Earth Area catcher lines up on the ball. Kluever scored.

 

WORTHINGTON - Olivia Petersen stood on second base representing the game-winning run Friday in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and the score knotted at 15-15.
At the crack of fellow senior Katie Rogers’ bat, Petersen was off. The high, looping hit dropped safely onto the grass in front of Blue Earth Area’s centerfielder. Petersen never broke stride as she rounded third and raced home. She was determined to end it right there.
“I never even thought of it,” Petersen said of stopping at third base. “It wasn’t even an option.”
The throw in from center was off the mark, and the Trojans had just completed not one, but two huge comebacks to take a 16-15 Big South Conference victory.
“They put us up against the wall and we kept coming back,” Worthington head coach Josh Wasmund said.
The Trojans led 6-4 going into the top of the sixth when things started to get wild. The Buccaneers had already tied it up when Jalyssa Wilson rapped a two-run triple to give them the lead at 8-6. Three more BEA hits, a Worthington error, a walk and a pitching change later, the visitors had hung a 7-spot on the board. That put the Trojans in an 11-6 hole entering the bottom of the sixth.
They didn’t back down.
After Bucs’ pitcher Makenzie Slette retired the first two batters without incident, Worthington rallied with two outs. It all started when Brittin Fauskee roped a single to right, giving her four hits in the contest. The next three Trojan batters walked to push the first run in and chase Slette from the pitcher’s circle.
Petersen was the first batter to face reliever Adri Dulas, and she came through with a big swing. Her first double of the night scored Kourtney Bouman and Christina Shorter to get the Trojans back within one. An error on a ball hit by Rogers allowed Petersen to scamper home and tie the game at 11-all.
“We just kept telling each other that we had to pick each other up,” Petersen said. “We had to lay it all out there on every play and just continually believe in each other.”
BEA went right back to work. Wilson’s second three-bagger of the evening scored two runs when a Trojans’ throwing error allowed the Bucs’ senior to circle all the way around. Dulas followed that with a single before Lauren Madetzke walked. Both runners eventually scored and when Worthington came up in the seventh, it was looking at another sizeable deficit, down 15-11.
“I told the ump before that last inning that we were going to score at least four,” Wasmund joked after the game.
It turned out to be more of a prophecy than a wish.
Madison Neuberger led off with a single and scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch. Fauskee - who had grounded into a fielder’s choice - scored all the way from second on the same play after a Buccaneers throwing error. That set the score at 15-13.
Bouman walked and Morgan LeBrun singled to get on base representing the tying a run. A wild pitch moved each up 60 feet before Dulas got what could have been a back-breaking strikeout for the second out. That’s when Petersen stepped to the plate.
“Honestly, I just told myself, ‘You can do this,’” Petersen said. “And I just did.”
She walloped a double to deep center that scored both runners and tied the game, setting up Rogers’ heroics just moments later.
The walk-off win completed a huge two-day turnaround for the Trojans. Just one day earlier, they committed 12 errors in an 18-0 loss to Pipestone Area. They cut the number of miscues down to four Friday and were perfect through the first three innings as they built an early lead.
“I think the most important thing other than battling back is how we started the game defensively,” Wasmund said. “We made huge strides from yesterday.
Petersen finished the night 3-for-5 with two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored. Fauskee went 4-for-5 with a double and four runs scored while Neuberger went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Megan Kluever added a two-run double in the second inning.
Rogers got the pitching victory in relief. None of the five runs scored off of her were earned while she allowed four hits in one-and-two-thirds innings. Erin Benz got the start and surrendered six runs - three earned - on eight hits and struck out one over five-plus innings.
Worthington (1-2 overall, 1-2 Big South) travels to Redwood Valley for its first road contest of the season on Monday.
“This should give us a big boost of confidence and hopefully it picks up our energy,” Petersen said. “I wouldn’t want to play with any other team.”
R H E
BEA 000 407 4 - 15 13 5
WHS 020 225 5 - 16 12 4

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WHS pitcher Katie Rogers winds up to pitch Friday against Blue Earth Area. Worthington captured its first win of the season. TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE

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