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Waldorf, Mayville State split NSAA opener in offensive battle

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy: Matt Oliver

FOREST CITY – Combining for 56 hits, there was plenty of offense between the Waldorf University and Mayville State University softball teams in Tuesday’s North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) doubleheader.

The Warriors (5-13, 1-1) rallied to a 13-11 victory in the opener by erasing an eight-run deficit. Waldorf fell in a 10-7 loss in the nightcap, but battled back after trailing by six runs.

“I thought the girls showed a lot of fight by coming back in both games,” Waldorf coach Lexy Determan said. “Obviously, it is never ideal to get down, but I think it was good for us to have to work through and now we know that we are never out of a game.”

Sophomore Hattie Hupke led the Warriors in the opener, going 4-for-4 with an RBI double. Junior Trista Bures went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run and a double while junior Andrea Hartmann finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Waldorf senior Maggie Eden and junior Ashton May collected two hits apiece as they both connected for run-scoring singles. Sophomore Briley Sullivan cranked a solo homer and provided three RBIs. Senior Kaitlin Murphy smacked an RBI double, junior Maggie Hawley singled and drove in a run while senior Jessica Abrahamson contributed a single to help the Warriors pound out 17 hits.

“We talked [Monday] about having a better approach at the plate, which I think we did,” Determan said. “We stayed our course and stuck to our game plan, regardless of the score. When you stick to your game plan and just focus on having good at-bats, a lot of good things will happen.”

Sullivan (2-1) scored the win. She struck out one batter, walked four and allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits in four and two-thirds innings.

Hartmann recorded her second save of the season, finishing with two strikeouts and a walk while nailing down the final inning.

Waldorf sophomore Kaylie Brindley started inside the pitcher’s circle. She exited after striking out a batter, issuing six walks and giving up six runs on six hits in one and one-third innings.

Alexandria Tinoco led Mayville State, going 3-for-3 with six RBIs in a performance that included a grand slam and a double. Daisy Macias also added three hits. Nina Gurgian went 2-for-5 with an RBI double. Lauren Coronado also went deep with a two-run homer. The Comets turned in 11 hits, receiving a double from Tiffany Soria.

Felicia Gonzalez (0-1) was hit with the loss. She walked two batters and allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits in the final one and two-thirds innings.

Monica Gomez notched two strikeouts, gave up two walks and surrendered nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits while working the first four and one-third innings for the Comets.

Gurgian doubled in a run in the top of the first inning and Haley Wedgewood connected on an RBI sacrifice fly to give Mayville State an early two-run advantage.

The Comets produced six runs on five hits in the second. Tinoco went yard with a grand slam and Coronado hit a two-run blast to boost Mayville State to a commanding 8-0 lead.

The Warriors weren’t stifled by the deficit as they put together a five-run third inning behind five hits and an error. Hupke put Waldorf on the board, scoring on a wild pitch. Hartmann and Murphy ripped back-to-back RBI doubles, Sullivan knocked in a run on a sac fly and May belted a run-scoring single to pull the Warriors within three runs.

The Comets plated three runs in the fifth to build an 11-5 lead. Tinoco drilled a two-run double and later scored on an error.

Waldorf wasn’t done. Seven hits led to a five-run sixth inning. Sullivan led off with a homer, Hupke hit an RBI double, Bures blasted a two-run homer and Sullivan pushed in a run on a bases-loaded walk to trim Mayville State’s lead to one run.

Hartmann tied the game with an RBI sac fly in the sixth. Hawley drove in the go-ahead run on a sac fly and Eden delivered an RBI single to cap the come-from-behind win.

“That was excellent proof that when you just keep plugging away, getting base hits and hitting the ball hard, good things will happen,” Determan said. “I think we did a great job in both games making the necessary offensive adjustments when pitchers came in.”

Bures paced the Warriors in Game 2, going 3-for-4 with a three-run double. Hawley turned in a pair of doubles and Hupke finished 2-for-4 with an RBI single. Eden provided an RBI double and Hartmann hit a run-scoring single. Sophomore Taylor Bell, Abrahamson and May contributed singles in a 12-hit attack.

Gurgian powered the Comets, going a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs. Tinoco went 4-for-5 with five RBIs, crushing her second homer of the day with a three-run shot. Macias turned in three hits. Kiana Ishikawa finished with a pair of run-scoring singles. Mayville State strung together 16 hits.

Gomez (5-4) picked up the win in a four-inning relief appearance. She fanned three batters, walked two and limited Waldorf to two hits.

Coronado struck out two batters, walked two and surrendered seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits through the first three innings.

Hartmann (0-4) was handed the loss. She closed out the game with a strikeout, a walk and yielded three runs on six hits in the final two innings.

Hawley started inside the circle. She notched two strikeouts, issued two walks and relinquished seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits in five innings of work.

First-inning RBI singles from Tinoco and Gurgian gave Mayville State a two-run cushion.

Ishikawa drove in a run with a second-inning single and Tinoco smashed a three-run homer as the Comets built a quick 6-0 advantage.

Hupke knocked in a run with a single in the bottom of the second and May scored on an error to cut Mayville State’s lead to 6-2.

Megan Evans helped the Comets extend their lead to five runs as she crossed home plate on a fourth-inning groundout by Megan Rabe.

Back came Waldorf, tying the game with a five-run rally in its half of the fourth. Bures hammered a three-run double, Hartmann singled in a run and Eden cracked an RBI double to knot the score at 7-all.

Run-scoring singles from Ishikawa, Tinoco and Gurgian lifted Mayville State in the seventh.

The Warriors once again refused to go down without a fight. Hawley doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh. The Comets then retired the next three batters to hold on for the win.

“In the seventh inning, both teams hit the ball hard,” Determan said. “It was just a matter of fact that their hits fell and our hits did not. We could not have hit the ball any harder in the seventh inning and that’s all you can ask the girls to do.”

Waldorf’s first-ever NSAA games were a true test every step of the way and it’s what the Warriors expect to see during their inaugural season in the conference. On Wednesday, Waldorf closes out its season series against Mayville State in a 12 p.m. twin bill at the Austin, Minn. dome.

“I think these games are extremely representative of the way this conference will be,” Determan said. “Every single day will be a battle, which will make the conference a lot of fun. I really hope the girls take [Tuesday’s games] to heart and they understand that they are always in the game and to just trust the approach.”