WELCOME - The Martin County West Mavericks softball team erupted for 12 runs during a two-inning span to down the Mountain Lake Area Wolverines, 12-1, during Section 2A, South Sub-Section playoff action on Tuesday in Welcome.
The No. 2-seeded Mavericks (8-3) advance to play host to No. 3-seeded Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial at 5 p.m. Thursday in Welcome. LCWM gained the next round via an 18-0 victory over Madelia/Truman.
Mountain Lake Area finished its season with a 6-9 record.
ENTANGLED — Martin County West runner Jordan Gregory slides safely into third base via a wild pitch before becoming entangled with Mountain Lake Area third baseman Channah Brandt during Section 2A, South Sub-Section softball playoff action Tuesday in Welcome. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
With the Mavericks unable to get a hit off of the Wolverines starter Janessa Peters through the first two innings, Martin County West head coach Darrell Ziegler decided to try playing small ball.
"After two innings and not being able to get a hit, we wanted to force their defense to make plays. So we laid down some bunts to try and get the momentum back in our favor," said Ziegler.
With Kenndy Janssen and Kate Thiesse aboard in the third, Jordan Gregory's bunt single broke open the floodgates. Janssen and Thiesse both wheeled around to score after an errant throw from the Wolverines' third baseman, with Gregory reaching second.
A wild pitch moved Gregory to third, before another wild pitch on ball four of Rebecca Steen's at-bat scored Gregory and helped Steen reach second.
Yet another wild pitch during Morgan Williamson's at-bat advanced Steen to third, with Steen adding the Mavericks' fourth run of the inning on a bouncing delivery to the plate.
"We haven't had to bunt much this season because we've gotten hits and been able to score runs," said Ziegler. "But we worked on it (bunting) in practice because we knew that we have to be able to in the playoffs, and today that paid off for us."
Tayler Hagen, Molly Klima and Janssen each laid down bunts to get aboard, sparking another Mavericks' rally.
Hagen's bunt put her on first before she swiped second. Klima's bunt allowed Hagen to reach third. With runners on first and third, Janssen's sacrifice bunt scored Hagen and moved Klima to second.
The Mavericks would add five more runs to grab a 12-1 lead after four innings.
"I think that going to the bunts really was the key to the win for us. They had the 1-0 lead and we started scoring. It all kind of snowballed from there," said Ziegler.
Steen held the Wolverines scoreless after the second inning, allowing just three hits, striking out five and walking three to take the win.
After holding the Mavericks hitless through two innings, Peters allowed 12 runs - four earned - on three hits, striking out four and walking five to take the loss.
Hagen, Klima, Gregory and Shawna Dressen each had hits for the Mavericks, while Paige Brown, Kailee Heltemes and Channah Brandt each had hits for the Wolverines.
MLA 010 00 - 1 3 4
MCW 004 8x - 12 4 2
Rebecca Steen (WP) and Shawna Dressen. Janessa Peters (LP) and Margaret Kispert.
LOB-MCW: 2; MLA 6. SAC-Janssen (MCW).
Mountain Lake Area 6, Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain 3 - The Wolverines defeated the No. 10-seeded Knights, 6-3, in Section 2A, South Sub-Section action to advance to face Martin County West in the second game on Tuesday in Welcome.
The Knights took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning with three doubles. Sam Meade led off the inning with a double to left field and then scored on Kristi Oberdieck's RBI double to center.
After Maisie Bentz walked and moved to second on a passed ball, Kris Davis recorded an RBI with a double to right field.
Unfortunately for the Knights, the Wolverines came back and scored four runs in the final two innings to take the win.
Janessa Peters led the way for the Wolverines, going 2-for-3 with one run scored and two RBIs, while Margaret Kispert went 1-for-2 with two runs scored in the win.
Signey Stoesz earned the complete-game victory for the Wolverines, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out six and walking six.
Starting pitcher Amber Schulz allowed six runs - five earned - on six hits, struck out three and walked three in taking the loss for the Knights.
Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain ended its season with an 0-15 record.
MLGHEC 001 200 0 - 3 5 1
ML Area 020 130 x - 6 6 1
Signey Stoesz (WP) and Margaret Kispert and Channah Brandt. Amber Schulz (LP) and Effie Bentz.
LOB-MLA 4, MLGHEC 7. 2B-Sam Meade (MLGHEC), Kristi Oberdieck (MLGHEC) and Kris Davis (MLGHEC). 3B-Janessa Peters (MLA). SAC-Briana Wolff (MLA).
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 18, Madelia/Truman 0 - The No. 3-seeded Knights shut out the No. 6-seeded Jayhawks in the first round of the Section 2A, South Sub-Section playoffs on Tuesday in Lake Crystal.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (8-5) advances to face No. 2-seeded Martin County West at 5 p.m. Thursday in Welcome.
Madelia/Truman finished its season with a 4-11 record.