FAIRMONT - On a cold afternoon, the Fairmont softball team's bats heated up the diamond as they scorched the Blue Earth Area Bucs for a pair of South Central Conference losses at Cardinal Park on Thursday.
The Cardinals, who sizzled 17 hits in Game 1 en route to a 13-2 victory, followed that up with an 18-hit performance to pace a 15-0, five-inning win in Game 2.
"We started out slow this season, going 0-7. Some of those games were close ones, but I just didn't think that was who we were as a team," said Fairmont head coach Terry Ehlert. "The kids didn't quit or give in, and we are finally playing the way that I think we are capable of."
OVERTHROWN — Fairmont runner Courtney Guetter safely reaches second base via an overthrow of Blue Earth Area second baseman Ashton Hendricksen on a fielder’s choice during South Central Conference softball action Thursday at Cardinal Park in Fairmont. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Micaela Gochanour went 4-for-5 for the Cardinals in Game 1, knocking in a pair of RBIs and scoring three times.
Mariah Thate went 3-for-5 at the plate, including plating a pair of RBIs in the Cardinals' four-run first.
Gochanour laid a bunt down for a single in the top of the first inning and reached second when Courtney Whitmore walked. Kristen Campe loaded the bases with a hit and Gochanour scored when Allison Moeller drew a walk.
Thate then smacked a single past between shortstop and second base for a single that scored Whitmore and Campe, moving Moeller to third.
Freshman Tieryn Arens followed Thate's single with her own, scoring Moeller from third to make it 4-0 after the first.
With Gochanour and Whitmore on first and second with a pair of singles to lead of the second, Campe lined a triple off the base of the fence in left-field to give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead.
Moeller then plated Campe with a grounder to Blue Earth Area's Chelsea Owen at first for an unassisted out.
Ashton Hendricksen and Chelsea Owen combined for the Bucs' two runs.
Hendricksen pounded a base hit down the third baseline for a hit in the third inning and wheeled to third on a Janessa Jahnke single to right.
Owen, who went 3-for-4 in Game 1, then recorded her second hit of the game to score Hendricksen from third. Owen plated the second run in the sixth on a fielder's choice on a Monica Krieger hit.
Fairmont another run in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the seventh inning to take the 13-2 win.
Taylor Schultze went the distance inside the pitcher's circle for the Cardinals, allowing two runs on 12 hits, striking out three and did not allow a walk in the win.
"I think that some of the games that we had, like the ones against New Ulm, were obviously tough because they are such good teams," said Ehlert. "But I think that has made us better as a team now. And we're still having fun. Hitting well tonight was really a lot of fun for everyone."
Campe was a single shy of the cycle in Game 2, gong 3-for-3 with four runs scored and five RBIs for Fairmont in the 15-0 five-inning win.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the second Campe smacked a hit out to the left-field fence for a two-run triple.
Moeller, who went 3-for-4 in the game with a pair of runs scored and three RBIs then capped off the five-run inning, hitting a single to score Campe before scoring on Mikayla Krzywicki's double.
In the third Campe sent a soaring blast deep to center for a three-run homer to help extend Fairmont's lead.
Krzywicki pitched four innings, allowing three hits and striking out two to earn the win. Alyson Eversman came in and pitched the final inning, giving up two runs and walking one in relief.
Gochanour completed her offensive day going 4-for-4 with three runs scored for the Cardinals.
Fairmont (4-7, 4-4 SCC) will face Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in the opening round of the Fairmont Tournament at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Cardinal Park in Fairmont.
Blue Earth Area (1-8) plays in the Jackson County Central Invite on Saturday.
FMT 430 120 3 - 13 17 0
BEA 001 001 0 - 2 12 1
Taylor Schultze (WP) and Tieryn Arens. Abby Nimz (LP) and Janessa Jahnke.
LOB-Fairmont 8, Blue Earth Area 9. 2B-Mikayla Krzywicki (F) and Kylie Ahl (BEA). 3B-Kristen Campe (F) and Mariah Thate (F).
BEA 000 00 - 0 5 1
FMT 454 2x - 15 18 1
Mikayla Krzywicki (WP), Alyson Eversman (5) and Tieryn Arens, Kaylee Sauck. Megan Wirtjes (LP) and Janessa Jahnke.
LOB-Blue Earth Area 7, Fairmont 7. 2B-Micaela Gochanour (F), Kristen Campe (F), Mariah Thate (F), Krzywicki (F) and Bethany Olson (BEA). 3B-Campe (F) and Allison Moeller (F). HR-Campe (F).
Martin County West 10, Alden-Conger 9 - Junior Shawna Dressen went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer in the second and a 2-run homer in the third to lead the Mavericks to a 10-9 Valley Conference win over the Knights on Thursday in Welcome.
Jordan Gregory added to the Mavericks' offense in the six-run second inning, recording four RBIs by going 2-for-4, including a three-run home run.
Morgan Williamson hit a solo home run in her 1-for-2 batting day, while Bailey Tish went 2-for-3 with a double for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks' Rebecca Steen struck out eight and walked four, giving up nine runs on 11 hits in pitching the complete game victory.
Liesel Theush had three hits, including a double, while Brooke Ryerson added a pair of hits for the Knight's offense.
Allison Songstad gave up 10 runs on nine hits, struck out six and walked one to take the loss.
Martin County West (6-2, 4-2 Valley) travels to Nicollett for a 4:30 p.m. conference game today.
MCW 063 001 0 - 10 9 4
A/C 112 400 1 - 9 11 2
Becca Steen (WP) and Shawna Dressen. Allison Songstad (LP) and Kasey Knutson.
Cleveland 12, Madelia/ Truman 2 - The Clippers' Anna Ely went 3-for-3 at the plate, while teammate Erica Wobbrook smacked a home run to lead the Clippers to a 12-2 six-inning victory over the Jayhawks on Thursday in Madelia.
Anna Dickie added to the Clippers' offense, going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Cassidy Kopet allowed two runs on five hits, struck out four and walked four to earn the win.
For the Jayhawks, Beth Kotewa went 2-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate, and pitched all six innings, allowing 12 runs on 10 hits, striking out six and walking one to take the loss.
Madelia/Truman (4-7, 2-5 Valley) will travel to play Cleveland at 9 a.m. in the Glenville-Emmons Invite on Saturday in Glenville.
CLE 111 135 - 12 10 1
M/T 002 000 - 2 5 7
Cassidy Kopet (WP) and Megan Gjemse. Beth Kotewa (LP) and Ciera Drevlow.