Back on their feet

TRACY – After taking their lumps on Monday, both the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton and Marshall softball teams looked to Tuesday as a chance to get their seasons back on track.

The Tigers, who were thumped by New Ulm 20-4 on Monday, breezed through their 10-1 win over the Panthers, spraying 13 hits over five innings and committing no errors. Each starter for the Tigers contributed a hit, led by Emily Mortier’s 3-for-3 performance.

“I was glad that we came out and hit the ball, fielded the ball and like I told them, it was a nice bounce-back from yesterday,” Marshall head coach Jack Houseman said. “We just have to keep on learning. Every night we learn something new and we’ve just got to keep rolling.”

Though they lost to Marshall, TMB was also able to put together a positive day after sweeping Camden Conference opponent Renville County West earlier in the day. The Panthers were swept by Minneota/Canby/Lincoln HI on Monday, but scored 27 runs in the doubleheader against RCW, defeating the Jaguars 14-0 and 13-6.

Against Marshall, however, the Panthers’ only hit was a fourth-inning double by Courtney Paczkowski, who scored on a Jenna Stoneberg fielder’s choice.

“Marshall played hard. They pitched well, we didn’t do much at the plate,” TMB head coach Paul Skoglund said. “We put the ball in play but they made some nice stops.”

Callie Graff kept the TMB batters off balance all night, allowing one run on one hit and a walk over five innings. The Marshall sophomore also had threestrike outs, and finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI.

“She did a good job of minimizing the damage,” Houseman said of Graff. “We just had one missed play in the outfield there, but by that time we were up by some runs so it didn’t hurt us there. We just made the outs, made the plays. I’m proud of the girls for playing good defense.”

Marshall led 6-0 before Paczkowski’s double in the fourth inning. The Tigers scored three unearned runs in top of the first, with Mortier driving home Graff and Sadie Zahrbock driving in Mortier and Amy Welu.

Brooke Louwagie hit a solo home run in the fourth inning for the Tigers, while Miranda Fischer’s two-run double in the fifth inning put the finishing touches on four-run inning and a Tiger victory.

Houseman is hoping that the Tigers (11-5 overall) can build off of their positives from Tuesday before hosting Southwest Conference power Pipestone Area in Marshall on Thursday for a doubleheader.

“We’ll get plenty of at-bats on Thursday, so we’ll have to go to work tomorrow at practice,” Houseman said. “Hopefully it’s not raining for once during a practice so we can actually get some things done and get ready for Pipestone.”

Jenny Welu pitched 13 of the 15 innings that TMB played on Thursday, taking the loss against Marshall. In two games against RCW, however, Welu allowed six runs on 11 hits over eight innings. She struck out 12 batters in the two Panthers wins.

“We threw the ball and caught the ball and hit the ball pretty well,” Skoglund said. “We needed those (wins) because (RCW is) in our section and seedings come out tomorrow. We were kind of focused on making sure we took care of business on those first two. Jenny’s throwing well, it’s hard to throw three games back to back to back.”

Welu also hit the ball well against RCW, finishing a combined 5-for-8 with a double. Stoneberg went 6-for-8 with a pair of doubles in two games against the Jaguars. Casey Iverson was 3-for-4 with a double in the first of three TMB games on Tuesday, while Galiya Bitton hit 3-for-4 in Game 2.

Mallory Thompson was 4-for-4 in two games for RCW, while Morgan Zaske went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and four RBIs in the second game of the doubleheader.

TMB (12-4, 11-3 Camden) continues its nine-game week on Thursday with a road doubleheader against Southwest United, before wrapping up its regular season with a conference doubleheader at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg on Friday.