Tigers close regular season
Morris Area closed out the regular softball season with two West Central Conference South wins and a loss to Ottertail Central. The Tigers finish with an 8-8 conference record.
Morris Area 6
The Tigers scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a lead and went on to defeat Montevideo 6-2 on the road Thursday night.
Dani Schultz continued her strong hitting with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate. It was the second time that week she accomplished the task.
"Schultz had a great game with two doubles and two singles," said coach Mary Holmberg. "Her eye-hand coordination is so good and she is so quick."
Haley Henrichs was 3-for-3 and Mary Rentz was 2-for-2.
"Henrichs just shined hitting in the number two spot," said Holmberg.
Sara Beyer also had two hits, including the three-RBI double in the fifth giving the Tigers the lead.
With two outs in the sixth, the Tigers scored two more runs. Shadow Olson reached on an error, Schultz doubled, then Rentz doubled to bring home both runners.
"They know Mary is a good hitter and they walked her twice," explained Holmberg.
Rentz had three of the Tigers' RBIs. Olson had the other hit for Morris Area.
Kelsey Amundson started for the Tigers. She pitched four innings, giving up three hits, one run, two walks, and struck out three. MacKenzie Weatherly pitched the last three innings, giving up two hits, one run, one walk, and striking out four.
"Amundson and MacKenzie Weatherly combined for a great team win," said Holmberg. "Both are very unselfish players who go out and do their very best."
On the defensive side, Brianna Neuman made diving catches in the second and sixth innings.
"Bri dove and got the ball in quickly," said Holmberg.
Olson made three catches in center field. Rentz had seven put outs at short stop.
Montevideo had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh with the tying runner at the plate, when Rentz made a tough catch in shallow center to end the game.
"I was very pleased as to how well we played," said Holmberg.
Morris Area 6
After the win over Montevideo, the Tigers took on BOLD in a make-up game from May 8 when they were rained out at Olivia.
"Henrichs had a great day at the plate," said Holmberg. Henrichs was 6-for-7 on the day.
Morris took an early lead with four runs in the first inning. Back-to-back singles by Schultz, Henrichs, and Rentz started the game. Then Beyer hit a two-RBI single to put the Tigers on the scoreboard. Heather Gagner then bunted and reached on an error while a couple more runs were scored.
The Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate in the opening inning.
"It was a wonderful way to start out the game," said Holmberg. "We hit the ball and capitalized on BOLD's mistakes."
The Warriors threatened in the second inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Weatherly gave up a double, but it was all erased because the runner at second led off early.
The Tigers added two runs in the fourth. With two outs, Henrichs singled and Rentz reached on a fielder's choice. Beyer reached on an error scoring Henrichs. Beyer then stole in a first-and-third situation and the catcher threw the ball over the third baseman's head allowing Rentz to score.
"We put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense," explained Holmberg. "The girls came up with timely hits and we played well defensively with a six-run lead."
Weatherly went the distance giving up eight hits, three walks, and striking out nine.
"Weatherly kept the ball low and Schultz called a good game," added Holmberg. "Her off-speed kept the hitters thinking."
Defensively, the Tigers turned a textbook double play to end the third inning. Rentz fielded a ground ball at short, threw to Beyer at first, and Beyer then threw to Henrichs at third to get the runner from second.
"We had solid play from the infielders and they made good throws," said Holmberg.
Morris Area 3
The Tigers ended the regular season at home with a 7-3 loss to Ottertail Central Friday, with wind gusts up to 40 mph.
The Tigers gave up one run in the first and three in the second, before coming back with two in the bottom of the second. Beyer led off with a single. Then Courtney Vogel came in to courtesy run. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gagner. Amundson then doubled to bring in Vogel and later scored on a single by Olson.
"Amundson hit the ball very well," said Holmberg. "We stranded runners at second and third. One base hit could have tied the game."
Morris Area threatened in the seventh. Kelsey Greenwaldt led off with a walk and was out on a fielder's choice. Schultz walked and Henrichs reached on a fielder's choice. Rentz loaded the bases after she was hit by a pitch. Beyer then hit a long fly ball to left field and Schultz scored.
"Beyer hit the ball hard into a 40 mph wind. If it had gone anywhere other than left field, it could very well have gone over the fence."
Amundson started on the mound. She gave up four hits, four earned runs, and walked one in one and 2/3 innings. Weatherly came in for the final five and 1/3, giving up six hits and three earned runs, and striking out one.
"OTC had aggressive hitters who ran the bases very well," said Holmberg. "Take away the second and third innings and we played right with them."
Defensively, Beyer threw out a runner stealing second in the fourth inning and a runner stealing third in the fifth.
"We had to be on our toes the whole game," added Holmberg. "They were a good team and made us make the plays."
Gagner made a good catch in the fifth inning, Weatherly snagged a couple in the middle, and Rentz and Schultz were busy on the left side.