WELCOME - The Martin County West softball team had connected for seven home runs collectively prior to Thursday's non-league clash with Sleepy Eye St. Mary's in Welcome.
The hometown Mavericks pounded out four more homers, including three during an incredible six-run third inning, to trigger a 9-6 comeback victory over the Knights during non-league action at the Fox Lake Area Sports Complex.
"We've had games where we've hit the ball right on the nose, and today was one of those," said Martin County West mentor Darrell Ziegler. "That was a good win for us over a quality program."
HOMERING MAVS — Martin County West’s Shawna Dressen (second from left) receives congratulations from Maverick teammates (middle to right) Molly Klima, Kennedy Janssen, Rebecca Steen and Martha Olson after belting one of the team’s four home runs in Thursday’s non-league softball game at Fox Lake Area Sports Complex in Welcome. MCW on-deck batter Sierra Williamson (far left) followed with a home run. Klima and Steen also homered during the contest. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
St. Mary's, who earned the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Section 2A, North Sub-Section playoffs, built an early 4-0 lead over Martin County West - the No. 2 seed in the South Sub-Section of Section 2A - via two runs each in the top of the first and second frames.
Leadoff batter Larissa Helget and No. 2 hitter Emily Schumbacher reached base on back-to-back to open the floodgates for the Knights during their initial at-bat.
Larissa Helget crossed the plate on Karissa Fleck's RBI sacrifice bunt before Schumacher scored on Bethany Berkner's RBI single to center.
St. Mary's then manufactured two more runs in the second by coming a hit batter, a walk, Anna Lux's bunt hit, Larissa Helget's sacrifice fly and Fleck's RBI single to left.
Ironically, Ellie Kuehl reached on an infield slap hit to set the table for Martin County West's home run derby during the home half of the third.
Kate Thiesse lined an RBI triple into the right-center gap to plate Kuehl before Rebecca Steen hammered a towering two-run blast deep over the left-field fence to whittle the Mavericks' deficit to 4-3.
St. Mary's right-hander Laura Pelzel coaxed a comebacker for the second out before MCW cleanup hitter Shawna Dressen stepped into the batter's box. Dressen then swattered a delivery deep over the left-field fence to knot the game at 4-all.
Sierra Williamson then connected for her team-leading fifth round-tripper of the season by drilling a pitch over the left-field fence to swing a 5-4 lead to the Mavericks.
Pelzel exited the chalked circle in favor of Anna Lux, and MCW's Kennedy Janssen greeted the St. Mary's reliever with a single up the middle. Janssen took second on a wild pitch before scoring when Molly Klima's infield hit was thrown away at first base.
The Knights, however, displayed their mettle by countering with a pair of runs during the top of the fourth to tie the game at 6-all.
Lux walked, Larissa Helget reached on an error and Fleck plated both runners via an RBI fielder's choice and the Mavericks' ensuing error on the same play.
Steen then delivered MCW's fifth and final extra-base hit - a double - during the home half of the fourth to plate Kuehl with the eventual game-winning run. Kuehl had walked.
Jordan Gregory then singled and later scored on Dressen's RBI single to left to extend the Mavericks' margin to 8-6.
Klima then lofted a solo shot over the center-field fence to lead off the bottom of the fifth frame to widen the gap to 9-6.
St. Mary's had threatened to score against MCW reliever Rebecca Steen during the top of the sixth, but Maverick right fielder Martha Olson delivered an inning-ending defensive gem.
Lux walked and Larissa Helget reached on an error to trigger the Knights' sixth at-bat before Steen got a popout and a flyout to right field. Olson corraled the flyball before pegging a strike to catcher Shawna Dressen for the double play.
Steen then worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning to preserve her pitching victory. Steen struck out three and walked one in three shutout and hitless innings of relief.
Williamson gave up six runs - four earned - on seven hits, fanned four, walked two and hit one batter in four innings of work to receive no decision.
Laura Pelzel allowed five runs on six hits, struck out five and did not issue a walk in 2 2/3 innings to absorb the loss for St. Mary's.
Steen, Gregory, Dressen, Williamson and Klima each collected two of the Mavericks' 14 hits on the game, with every MCW batter getting at least one hit.
Martin County West (12-3, 6-2 Valley) travels to Alden today, while Sleepy Eye St. Mary's (11-6) faces United South Central today in Wells.
SESM 220 200 0 - 6 7 3
MCW 006 210 x - 9 14 3
Laura Pelzel (LP), Anna Lux (3) and Bethany Berkner. Sierra Williamson, Rebecca Steen (5, WP) and Shawna Dressen.
LOB-MCW 4; SESM 6. 2B-Steen (MCW). 3B-Kate Thiesse (MCW). HR-Steen (MCW), Dressen (MCW), Williamson (MCW), Molly Klima (MCW). SF-Larissa Helget (SESM). SAC-Karissa Fleck (SESM).
Nicollet 6, Madelia/Truman 2 - Emily Fischer went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to propel the Raiders to a 6-2 victory over the Jayhawks on Thursday in Nicollet.
Hannah Beckius went 1-for-2 with two RBIs for Nicollet, while teammate Cassie Juberien supplied an RBI single.
Sara Meurer went the distance inside the pitcher's circle to earn the complete-game win for the Raiders. Meurer allowed two runs on four hits, struck out three and walked two.
Hanna Hartman connected for a solo home run to top the Jayhawks, while teammates Ciera Drevlow, Beth Kotewa and Stephanie Jahnz each collected hits. Savannah Hodge walked and scored a run for Madelia/Truman.
Kotewa gave up six runs on nine hits, struck out nine and walked three in six innings of work to absorb the loss.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 22, Madelia/Truman 3 - The Knights erupted for 18 runs in the top of the fourth inning to power a 22-3 triumph over the Jayhawks during Game 2 of M/T's split doubleheader on Thursday night in Madelia.
Rachel Sonnabend went 3-for-6 with three RBIs, while Sami Sorenson went 3-for-6 with a triple and two RBIs to ignite LCWM's 16-hit performance.
Madeline LeMay went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored for the Knights, McKenzie Schaffer went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while Bailey Rustman and Chloe Lantz each contributed two hits and one RBI.
Beth Kotewa went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to pace the Jayhawks, while Briannia Pearson went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Hanna Hartman chipped in a hit, while Sierra McCraw collected one RBI.
M/T starting pitcher Christine Hansen gave up eight runs on nine hits in 3-plus innings, struck out two and walked five to take the loss.
Madelia/Truman hosts Mankato Loyola today in Madelia in a Valley Conference game.
M/T 100 100 0 - 2 4 2
NIC 022 200 x - 6 9 1
Beth Kotewa (LP) and Ciera Drevlow. Sara Meurer (WP) and Cassie Juberien.
LC 021 (18)1 - 22 16 0
M/T 200 ( 0)1 - 3 5 5
Sami Sorenson (WP) and McKenzie Tibbetts. Christine Hansen (LP), Brianna Stevensen (4), Brytni Drevlow (4) and Ciera Drevlow.