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Prep softball: Hot pitcher cools Worthington

Nora Windschill of New Ulm slides safely into second base as Worthington's Olivia Hayenga takes a throw. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

BY DOMINIC BURNS

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- New Ulm pitcher Ashlyn Donner was stellar, collecting 13 strikeouts in a route-going performance in Tuesday’s 9-0 win over Worthington in high school softball. Worthington’s Kami Bird was the only Trojan to get a hit off the hard-throwing Donner.

“She is a very good pitcher, I tip my hat to her,” Worthington head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka said. “Having 13 strikeouts makes it incredibly hard to get a win.”

The Eagles started out hot against the Trojans as cleanup batter Madeline Gag went yard with a 3-run home run against Trojan starter Haley Grimmius. Grimmius went all seven innings, striking out three while walking five.

The Trojans’ best chance at scoring came in the second inning. Cleanup batter Sophie Wietzema was able to draw the lone walk off of Donner. Two strikeouts later, Bird moved Wietzema to third on a single up the middle.

Donner was able to pitch out of the jam, striking out Olivia Hayenga for the final out. Worthington’s first nine outs came via strikeout.

Worthington defense shined throughout the game, Hayenga pointed out. “If you can’t score any runs, you aren’t going to be able to win any games.”

New Ulm players were able to make solid contact batting, but superior outfield defense by Worthington held the Eagles to loud outs.

The Trojans were never out of the game until the seventh inning. In the Eagles’ seventh, the Trojan outfield shifted in on leadoff slap-hitter Joey Batt, who promptly hit the ball over right fielder Kara Thuringer for a two-run inside-the-park-home run. The Eagles followed up with back-to-back doubles to left field by Carli Botten and Noelle Forstner. Gag scored Botten on an RBI single, Donner scored Forstner on a sac-fly, and Gag scored on a groundout by Abby Juni. The five-run seventh put New Ulm up by nine.

“We need to approach the batter's box with more confidence.” coach Hayenga-Hostikka said. “By playing with confidence, good things can happen. Playing tentatively leads to mistakes. I would much rather have you go down aggressively.”

The Trojans fall to 5-3, and will play Redwood Valley on Friday at the Minnesota West softball field.

New Ulm 310 000 5 -- 9 8 1Worthington 000 000 0 -- 0 1 2