WELCOME - Thanks to a quick start, the Martin County West Maverick softball team jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Madelia/ Truman Jayhawks after the first inning on Tuesday at Fox Lake Area Sports Complex in Welcome.
While the Jayhawks battled back with a pair of one-run innings in the second and third to cut the deficit in half, the Mavericks responded with an 11-run fourth to close out the eventual 15-3 five-inning Valley Conference victory.
"I thought it took us a little bit to get going offensively," said Martin County West head coach Darrell Ziegler. "I think most of it was nerves and being out on the field for the first game. Once we got going, we were really hitting the ball well."
JUST?IN?TIME — Martin County West runner Rebecca Steen (middle) slides into second base for a double as Madelia/Truman second baseman Brianna Stevensen (right) and shortstop Briannia Pearson make a play on the ball during softball action at the Fox Lake Area Sports Complex on Tuesday in Welcome. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Kate Thiesse and Rebecca Steen provided ample firepower from the top of the Maverick lineup, going a combined 6-for-7 from the plate with three extra-base hits.
Thiesse cranked a hit to right field in her first at-bat for a double, before Steen drove in the first of her three RBIs.
With a scorched single through the left side of the infield, Steen scored Thiesse from second.
Steen swiped second base on the first pitch of Jordan Gregory's at-bat and then wheeled to third on a sacrifice fly to right.
Sierra Williamson then helped Steen score, reaching base on a Jayhawk fielding error.
Williamson, who went 2-for-4 from including blasting a home run in the Mavericks' 11-run fourth, then stole second to get into scoring position.
The MCW freshman then reached third on a passed ball during Kennedy Janssen's at-bat. Janssen then reached on an error to score Williamson from third.
Janssen took second on a passed ball, before scoring on Molly Klima's RBI single to right field.
In the second inning, the Jayhawks responded by scoring to prevent the shutout.
"I was really happy to see us respond the first time after getting down," said Madelia/ Truman head coach Terri Baumgartner. "We were able to stay aggressive at the plate and score some runs. We just weren't able to keep that going."
Savannah Hodge walked to start the inning, before racing her way to third on a pair of passed balls.
Stephanie Jahnz then drove in the Jayhawks' first run of the game, slapping a single through the left side of the infield to replace Hodge.
Hanna Hartman then scored the second Jayhawk run in the third, cutting the Mavericks' lead in half.
Hartman walked before a wild pitch allowed her to advance to second.
Beth Kotewa then ripped a single to left field, allowing Hartman to score to make it 4-2 after the third.
While Kotewa and the Jayhawk defense held the Mavericks scoreless through the second and third innings, an 11-run fourth inning sealed the victory for the home team.
"Our bats got quiet in the middle of the game. We were trying too hard and got some nerves going because it was a closer game," said Ziegler. "Then we were able to settle down and take advantage of some good swings to really finish the game well."
Martha Olson led off the offensive outburst with a triple that landed at the bottom of the fence in center before she scored on Thiesse's RBI single to left.
Steen then smacked both a double and a triple in the inning, providing some firepower to go along with throwing four innings of one-hit softball, striking out five and allowing two earned runs for the win.
Steen's double scored Thiesse from third after she stole second and wheeled to third on a passed ball.
Gregory then walked to put runners on first and second, before both Maverick runners advanced on a wild pitch. Shawna Dressen, who went 2-for-3, drove in Steen and Gregory with a sizzling single to right.
Courtesy runner Marissa Moeller then scored when Williamson homered to make it 10-2.
Martin County West (1-0, 1-0 Valley) plays host to Nicollet in a 5 p.m. conference game on Thursday at the Fox Lake Area Sports Complex in Welcome.
Madelia/Truman (1-1, 0-1 Valley) plays Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in a 4 p.m. conference game on Friday in Lake Crystal.
M/T 011 01 - 3 3 2
MCW 400 11 x - 15 16 0
Beth Kotewa (LP) and Ciera Drevlow. Rebecca Steen (WP), Sierra Williamson (5) and Shawna Dressen.
LOB-Madelia/Truman 4; Martin County West 5. HR-Williamson (MCW). 3B-Steen (MCW) and Martha Olson (MCW). 2B-Kate Thiesse (MCW), Steen (MCW) and Martha Olson (MCW). SAC-Jordan Gregory (MCW).