WELCOME - The Martin County West Maverick softball lineup combined powerful hitting with precision pitching to capture its own four-team invitational championship on Saturday.
Jordan Gregory and Sierra Williamson each smacked home runs to power the Mavericks to a 13-2, five-inning triumph over the Luverne Cardinals during the tournament finale at the Fox Lake Area Sports Complex.
Martin County West, which pounded out a dozen extra-base hits during the two-game span, gained the championship game by shutting out Mountain Lake Area, 10-0 in five innings, during first-round action.
POWERFUL EXTENSION — Martin County West slugger Shawna Dressen extends her arms to connect for a run-scoring double during softball action in the Maverick Invitational on Saturday in Welcome. Dressen and the Mavericks went on to capture the team tournament crown. (Photo by Leanna Becker
GROUNDED — Luverne catcher Morgan Haugan and Fairmont runner Tieryn Arens both look for the umpire’s call after a tag play at the plate during softball action in the Maverick Invitational on Saturday in Welcome. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
Luverne reached the championship game by opening with a 9-3 victory over the Fairmont Cardinals.
Fairmont then captured third-place accolades by slugging Mountain Lake Area, 17-3 in five innings.
In the championship clash, the Mavericks erupted for five runs in the top of the first inning before adding two more in the second.
Martin County West then generated two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to exit its home ballpark via the 10-run rule.
Williamson and Gregory spearheaded the Mavericks' 14-hit offensive performance in the finals. Williamson collected three RBIs on the strength of her two-run round-tripper and an RBI double, while Gregory produced two RBIs via a home run and a single.
Rebecca Steen assisted her own pitching cause by pounding out two doubles to generate three RBIs against Luverne, while Kennedy Janssen also drilled two doubles en route to one RBI.
Shawna Dressen doubled and singled to produce one RBI for the Mavericks in the championship game, while Kate Thiesse contributed two singles to the winning cause.
Steen allowed two runs - one earned - on four hits in going the five-inning distance inside the pitching circle to earn the complete-game victory. Steen recorded 11 strikeouts and issued six walks.
In MCW's opener on Saturday, Williamson wielded lethal lumber inside the batter's box and displayed a strong pitching arm inside the chalked circle.
Williamson fired a one-hit complete-game shutout to top the Mavericks' 10-0, five-inning triumph over the Wolverines. Williamson recorded four strikeouts and issued six walks.
Williamson also topped Martin County West's 11-hit attack by collecting a double and a triple to generate two RBIs.
Molly Klima went 3-for-3 with a double and produced two RBIs for the Mavericks, while Martha Olson contributed two hits and two RBIs to the winning effort. Dressen contributed a single and a double in the opener.
Channah Brandt produced Mountain Lake Area's only hit in the game.
In the third-place contest, Abby Fitzgerald hammered out a 3-for-3 performance at the plate to power Fairmont to the 17-3, five-inning win over the Wolverines.
Fitzgerald tripled, doubled and singled to chalk up a game-best four RBIs and scored four runs.
Micaela Gochanour blasted a two-run home run to trigger the Cardinals' eight-run second at-bat. Gochanour also walked twice and scored two runs.
Kristen Campe and Allison Moeller each went 1-for-2 with one RBI and scored twice for Fairmont, while Jess Koskovich went 1-for-1 with two RBIs and scored a pair of runs.
Tieryn Arens worked out three walks and crossed the plate twice for the Cardinals in the third-place game.
Aly Eversman allowed three runs - zero earned - on four hits, struck out three, walked three and hit one batter in five innings of work to earn the complete-game victory for Fairmont.
In an opening clash between a set of Cardinals, Luverne utilized a pair of home runs to fuel a 9-3 decision over Fairmont.
Ellen Dahl and Ashley Olson each cranked two-run round-trippers for Luverne in the tournament opener.
Dahl also handled the pitching duties, allowing three runs on six hits, struck out five, issued five walks and hit one batter in seven innings of work to earn the complete-game victory.
Campe and Lisa Craig each produced two hits to top Fairmont's offensive effort, while Fitzgerald went 1-for-2 with a walk and scored two runs.
Eversman supplied an RBI fielder's choice, Taylor Nuss walked twice, while Arens scored a run for Fairmont.
Mikayla Krzywicki gave up nine runs - only three earned - on six hits in six innings of work to take the loss for Fairmont. Krzywicki struck out one and walked one.
Fairmont (1-2) plays host to Waseca at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cardinal Park.
Martin County West (4-0, 2-0 Valley) is idle until Tuesday, April 22, when it travels to Janesville.