It was hard work but the MACA softball Tigers were able to maintain their undefeated conference record in Tuesday (5/10) diamond play.
The Tigers were up against Benson-Hancock, a softball program that is bound to be competitive on any given day. Tuesday was one such day. B-H got the score tied at 3-3 in the top of the seventh.
But the Tigers found the resolve and the focus to come out the victor. It was Dani Schultz crossing home plate in a triumphant way in the bottom of the seventh.
The home field fans cheered with gusto as their orange and black heroes notched their 13th WCC-South win against zero losses. In overall won-lost: 15-1.
Schultz doubled to get on base. A passed ball allowed her to get to third. Then, the decisive moment came when Benson-Hancock failed to execute on a fly ball.
The 4-3 win closed out the early portion of the week in this hectic phase of the schedule, being played when weather could be as much of a challenge as the foe. If it's not wind (as in the recent home invite), it's wet grounds, which can force the action from the usual Eagles Park to Wells in west Morris.
B-H has a long history of success but they are paying some dues this season. The Brave Owls came out of Tuesday at 1-6. They challenged the Tigers by scoring one run each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Mackenzie Jensen led off with a single in the B-H half of the seventh. She was off to the races with successful steals of second and third. Kendra Schmidgall hit a grounder that allowed Jensen to score the tying run.
Brave Owl Sara Rajewsky, who plays with some of the Morris athletes in winter for hockey, was a perfect three-for-three batting on Tuesday. Rajewsky and Dani Schultz were the premier performers on the MBA girls hockey Storm. In spring, they are foes on the diamond.
Schultz went three-for-four in her team's win, including a double, and she drove in two runs.
Also hitting safely for coach Mary Holmberg's Tigers were Kelsey DeCamp (two-for-three), Hannah Sayles (one-for-three) and Courtney Ehleringer (one-for-three).
Rajewsky was joined among B-H's hit producers by Mackenzie Jensen (two hits in four at-bats), Kelsey Sonnabend (one-for-three) and Kelsey Hammerschmidt (two-for-three).
Mackenzie Weatherly turned in another workmanlike job from the pitching rubber. Benson-Hancock may have chipped away against her late, but she still shone with nine strikeouts and zero walks in her seven innings. One of the B-H runs was unearned. She gave up eight hits.
Sara Rajewsky pitched for B-H and gave up seven hits and four runs (just two earned), while striking out three batters and walking two.
Baseball: Tigers 16, Benson 4
There were all kinds of offensive highlights for the Morris Area Chokio Alberta baseball team Tuesday. Playing at Benson, the Tigers put on a clinic with their hitting prowess.
This was especially noticed in the second inning when the orange and black crew plated ten runs. A total of 16 batters came up to bat in that rally, a rally that included back-to-back dingers.
First it was Ryan Beyer wielding a homer bat. Beyer's dinger was a two-run job. Then it was Eric Riley zeroing in on a pitch that was very much to his liking, sending the ball over the fence.
Eric Riley had a memorable afternoon with two solo home runs. He was two-for-three in the boxscore with two RBIs and three runs scored.
Beyer's dinger came in his only official at-bat. Beyer drove in three runs and scored two.
All this offensive prowess vaulted coach Lyle Rambow's crew to a 16-4 win. The Tigers had 13 total hits.
But just as impressive as any of these numbers (as coach Rambow would readily attest) was the zero errors in the MACA line score. Benson committed four errors.
Benson was limited to four hits.
Mitch Kill takes the pitching credit. He pitched all five innings in this game abbreviated by the ten-run rule. He struck out three batters, walked one and allowed four hits. The losing pitcher was Anthony Berreau. Carter Fennell also pitched for the Braves.
Mitch Kill did his part fueling the MACA hitting attack too. Mitch was a perfect three-for-three with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Other MACA hitting standouts in addition to those already cited were: Tyler Hansen (a double), Brody Bahr (one-for-two), Alex Erickson (a double and an RBI), Aaron Vold (one-for-two), Ethan Bruer (one-for-two), Taylor Hufford (a double) and Matt Lembcke (one-for-two).
Three Braves hit safely: Jaime Gonzalez, Kyle Hoffman and Logan Connelly. All four of Benson's runs came home in the fourth.
It's cold today (Friday). Hopefully we'll see a turnaround toward summer again, soon, but right now it doesn't look good for the UMM graduation on Saturday.
The P.E. Center had better be ready.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org