Winona uses 11-run fifth inning to steamroll Owatonna 14-0
Heading into the season, Owatonna High School’s head softball coach Brian Pilcher knew that Winona was going to be a one of the legitimate contenders for not just a Big Nine Conference title, but a state title.
Through four innings, the Huskies trailed 3-0, leaving just enough room for a hopeful rally. The Winhawks had entirely different plans.
Winona scored 11 runs in the top of the fifth inning to demolish Owatonna 14-0 in five innings Tuesday afternoon at Morehouse Park in Big Nine Conference action.
“It happens in all sports,” commented Pilcher. “A team gets hot, it’s hard to stop them.”
The fifth inning started with an error after third baseman Jamie Davison couldn’t corral a Rhiannon Reinardy ground ball. From there, Huskies' starting pitcher Alexa Sommers was pummeled for eight hits, two of them going for extra bases. In five innings, she allowed 14 runs on 12 hits, giving her an ERA of 19.6.
The Huskies struggled fielding hard ground balls all afternoon. For the game, Owatonna registered six errors, three of which allowed Winhawk runners to cross home plate. In fact, Winona's first two runs of the game came by way of throwing errors by the Huskies. Pilcher noted that in a game against an opponent of that caliber, you simply can’t have any mistakes.
“We can’t have the errors," he added. "You add the errors with the hits and you have a 14-0, 15-0 game."
Prior to the final half-inning, Owatonna managed to allow just four hits, none of which went for extra bases.
While there were struggles in the field, the Huskies also experience struggles at the plate as Reinardy seemed unhittable. In four innings of work, she recorded seven strikeouts.
“I told the girls that’s what we were going to face,” commented Pilcher. “A couple innings there we hit the ball hard and they made some great defensive plays. I believe that it set the tone for the afternoon for them.”
Tiana Blazek and Tori Buck were the lone Huskies to record a hit on the afternoon. In fact, they were also the only Huskies to ever reach scoring position.
Owatonna drops to 1-1 on the year and will host Big Nine Conference foe Albert Lea on Thursday.
Winona 0 1 0 2 11 14 13 1
Owatonna 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7
WP: Reinardy; LP: Sommers
Owatonna hitters: Hager 0-3, Blazek 1-2, Karsten 0-2, Rohman 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Buck 1-2, Peterson 0-2, Sommers 0-2