Minnewaska made sure it would share the West Central North Conference softball title with Albany as the Lakers shut out Sauk Centre 9-0 Tuesday to end the regular season on a 12-game winning streak after Minnewaska also defeated co-leader Albany, as well as Morris and Sauk Centre.
waska 13, melrose 3
After a big game, there's always a chance for a letdown, and in the early going against Melrose Thursday, that's exactly what the Minnewaska softball team looked to be struggling with.
Just a day after defeating state-ranked Albany and tightening the West Central Conference North race by moving into a tie with the Huskies, the Lakers found themselves tied with Melrose and struggling against the pitching of Andrea Warzecha.
But a key play in the bottom of the fifth broke open the dam and Minnewaska cruised to a 13-3 inning with 10 runs in that frame, ending the game.
After scoring three runs in the first inning on Julie Helanders' three-run homer, the Lakers were unable to get any offense flowing in the next three frames. The Dutchmen chipped away at the lead to tie it in the top of the fourth as Andrea Warzecha led off the inning with her second home run of the game.
Minnewaska began to make its move in the bottom of the inning as Lexi Amundson doubled and moved to third on a passed ball.
In the meantime, the Lakers added two more runners to the bags with just one out and were in position to take the lead.
Helander, with one home run already in the game, poked a ground ball hit, which should have been an easy force out at home, but the Melrose catcher opted to tag out Amundson instead of just stepping on home plate.
"The umpire said the Melrose catcher did not have her foot on the base and that's why he called Lexi safe," said Minnewaska head coach Steve Hoffman. "It was a force out, Lexi slid under the tag, but her [catcher's] foot not on the base was the issue. That was a huge play for us."
Indeed it was as the Lakers went on to score nine more runs in the inning.
Helander finished the game with four runs batted in, while Courtney Schmidt and Jillian Hendrickson drove in two apiece.
Kaylyn Oberg, Kaylee Jacobs, Helander, Hendrickson and Amundson all had two hits.
Mady Phillips made it her second win in as many days on the mound, striking out four and allowing just five hits.
Minnewaska will begin Section 6AA playoff action on Friday.
MELROSE 011 10 3-5-1
MINNEWASKA 300 0(11) 13-13-0
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mady Phillips (W) 5-5-3-3-0-4, Andrea Warzecha (L) 5-13-13-10-3-3.
MELROSE - Sydney Petermeier 1-2, 1 rbi; Andrea Warzecha 2-2, 2 runs, 2 rbi, 2 home runs; Nicole Welle 1-2; Nikki Zierden 12, 1 run.
MINNEWASKA - Kaylyn Oberg 2-4, 3 runs, 1 rbi; Mady Phillips 1-2, 1 run; Kaylee Jacobs 2-4, 1 run, 1 rbi; Julie Helander 2-3, 1 run, 4 rbi, 1 hr; Courtney Schmidt 1-3, 1 run, 2 rbi; Jillian Hendrickson 2-3, 2b, 2 rbi; pinch runner 1 run; Allyssa Engfer 1 run, 1 rbi; Brook Winter 1-3, 1 run, 2b; Lexi Amundson 2-2, 2 runs, 1 rbi, 2 2bs.
waska 6, albany 5
It came down to extra innings, but a two-run eighth gave Minnewaska just enough for a 6-5 victory over Albany in West Central North Conference softball Wednesday, and pushed the Lakers into a tie with the Huskies for the league lead.
The win also avenged a 12-7 loss earlier in the season to the No. 6 ranked Huskies, handing Albany its first loss of the season.
The game was tied until the eighth when the Lakers put two on the board as Phillips led off with a single, advancing to third on a hit by Helander, her fourth of the game in as many plate appearances. Phillips and Opdahl, who pinch ran for Helander, both scored on a two-out double by Allyssa Engfer.
Phillips and the Laker defense then had to hold the Huskies in the bottom of the inning and did a stellar job, allowing just one run before ending the inning on a groundout.
The Minnewaska pitcher picked up the complete game victory, allowing 13 hits over eight innings, giving up five runs, three earned.
Helander was 4-for-4 at the plate with a double, while Engfer went 3-for-4.
MINNEWASKA 010 300 02 6-12-3
ALBANY 200 200 01 5-13-2
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mady Phillips (W) 8-13-5-3-0-2; Karli Persson (L) 8-12-6-4-0-9.
MINNEWASKA - Kaylyn Oberg 1-4, Mady Philllips 1-4, Kaylee Jacobs 1-4, Julie Helander 4-4, 2b; Courtny Schmidt 2-4, rbi; Alyssa Engfer 3-4, 2 2bs, 4 rbi.
ALBANY - Hannah Navratil 2-4, 2 rbi; Alyssa Stangler 2-4, rbi.
waska 6, morris 3
In a battle of the two West Central Conference division leaders, it was the North Division's Minnewaska coming away with a 6-3 win over the South's Morris/Chokio-Albert Friday.
Phillips, who picked up the win on the mound, also highlighted the Laker offense as she hit a two-run single in the fifth to put the Lakers up 4-3.
Minnewaska's Helander then smacked a single to bring home Phillips. Helander also had a home run in the fourth inning.
MORRIS/CA 000 030 0 3-6-1
MINNEWASKA 001 131 X 6-8-1
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mady Phillips (W) 7-8-3-1-0-6; Mckenzie Van Batavia (L) 6-6-6-5-0-3.
MINNEWASKA - Kaylyn Oberg 2-3, rbi; Mady Phillips 3-4, 3 rbi; Julie Helander 2-3, 2 rbi, hr; Alyssa Engfer 1-3, 1b.
waska 9, sc 0
The Lakers shut out Sauk Centre 9-0 to share the WCCN title with Albany.
Phillips earned yet another win on the mound as she went the distance, allowing just six hits while striking out three.
Jacobs and Helander both had three hits in the game, with Jacobs driving in two runs. Schmidt also had two RBI.
SAUK CENTRE 000 000 0 0-6-4
MINNEWASKA 311 031 X 9-15-1
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mady Phillips (W) 7-6-0-0-0-3; Colleen LuGrain (L) 6-15-9-5-1-1.
HITTING - Kaylyn Oberg 2-2, 1 run, 1 rbi; Mady Phillips 1-3; Cypher 1 run; Kaylee Jacobs 3-3, 2 runs, 2b, 2 rbi; Colleen Rutledge 1-1, 1 rbi; Julie Helander 3-4, 1 rbi; Bridget Opdahl 1 run; Allyssa Engfer 1-3, 1 run, 1 rbi; Courtney Schmidt 1-4, 1 run, 2 rbi; Jillian Hendrickson 2-3, 1 run; Brook Winter 1-2, 1 rbi.
Waska 3, YME 1
The Minnewaska girls made it 11 in a row as they took an inter-conference win from Yellow Medicine East Monday, winning 3-1.
Mady Phillips earned the win once again, pitching all seven innings and allowing just one walk while striking out nine.
Jacobs and Helander both had a pair of hits in the game.
MINNEWASKA 101 010 0 3-8-1
YELLOW ME 001 000 0 1-7-1
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Mady Phillips (W), 7-7-1-0-1-9; Allie Trudel (L) 7-8-3-2-0-4.
MINNEWASKA - Kaylyn Oberg 1-4, 1 run; Kaylee Jacobs 2-4, 1 run, 2b, 1 rbi; Julie Helander 2-3, 1 rbi; Alyysa Engfer 1-3, 1 rbi; Courtney Schmdit 1-3; Brook Winter 1-2; Lexi Amundson 1 run.