Photo by Mark Beasley

Pictured: Grace Jensen slides home with the tying run in the top of the seventh inning at YME on Monday. Jensen made it home after a wild pitch went to the backstop.

April 11 at Granite Falls

YME 9 Minnewaska 8 

The poor spring weather relented just long enough for the Minnewaska softball team to get a game played on Monday in Granite Falls. Temperatures were in the mid 50s and the field was dry, a perfect spring day for the first game of the season.

Neither the Lakers or Sting were able to score in their first at bat of the year. Minnewaska got on the scoreboard in a big way, scoring four runs in the top of the second inning.

Grace Larson reached on an error and went to third on a single by Grace Jensen. Leslie Murken then stepped to the plate and brought home three runs with one swing, clearing the fence, putting the Lakers up, 3-0. But Minnewaska wasn’t done yet. With two outs Olivia Richards singled, stole second and scored on a single by Maddy Meulebroeck. 

Starting pitcher Grace Jensen set the Sting down in the bottom of the second inning without a score.

The Lakers scored another run in the top of the third when Grace Larson walked with one out, stole second and scored when Leslie Murken singled.

YME answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Helped along by five walks, the Sting had two hits and scored four runs, pulling to within a single run after three innings.

The YME bats came alive in their half of the fourth inning as the Sting rapped out three singles and a double to score three more runs to take a 7-5 lead. Another run for YME in the fifth gave the Sting a 8-5 lead with two innings to play.

After a couple scoreless innings the Lakers began their comeback in the top of the sixth inning. Two strikeouts began the at bat, then Olivia Richards tripled. Maddy Meulebroeck drew a walk and stole second base. Both runners scored on a single by Riley Eishens, pulling Minnewaska to within one run, 8-7. 

Pitcher Grace Jensen tossed a much needed scoreless frame in the bottom of the sixth, keeping the Lakers close for the final inning.

After one out had been made, Grace Jensen hit a routine ground ball to shortstop. But the throw was high and Jensen was able to get to second base. Jensen reached third on a wild pitch, then came home on another, tying the game at 8-8.

Two more Lakers reached base on walks, but the third out was made before Minnewaska could take a lead.

The YME leadoff batter in the bottom of the seventh struck out. The next batter reached base after getting hit by a pitch. A walk then put the winning run on second base. The next Sting batter hit a line drive into centerfield, where the Laker’s Leah Hagen made a diving effort to snare the ball. She came up just short of the catch and the ball skipped by, allowing the winning run to cross the plate. 

Despite the disappointing ending the Lakers played a pretty solid game, despite the lack of good practice time due to bad outdoor conditions this spring.

Olivia Richards looked to be in midseason form, getting three hits and making all the plays in the field. Grace Jensen and Leslie Murken each had two hits, with Murken striking the big three-run homer in the second inning.

Weather permitting, the Lakers hope to be on the field Tuesday at Benson for a doubleheader. On Friday the Lakers travel to ACGC. Saturday morning Minnewaska will host an invitational tournament that will include teams from Brandon-Evansville, Breckenridge and Otter Tail Central.

Lakers 014 002 1 – 8 9 1 

YME    004 310 1 – 9 9 2

HITTING – Minnewaska:

Olivia Richards 3-4 r-2 3b, Maddy Meulebroeck 1-2 r rbi, Riley Eischens 1-3 rbi-2, Grace Jensen 2-4 r-2 2b, Leslie Murken 2-4 r rbi-4 HR, Brenna Larson 0-1 r-2 

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)

Grace Jensen (L) 6.1-9-9-9-4-9