By Andy Westra
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - New Ulm put together 11 hits as it shut out Blue Earth Area 8-0 in a South Central Conference softball matchup on Tuesday.
Sydney Schuck only pitched the first two innings, but she picked up the win on the mound since the Eagles were already up 6-0 when she left the game.
Schuck gave up zero runs on two hits and four strikeouts in her two innings of work.
New Ulm got its offense going right away in the first inning when Abby Kamm led off the game with a single and later scored on an error. Rachel Strandmark reached home safely on a BEA wild pitch.
The Eagles got two more runs later in the first inning on a two-run single by Schuck.
New Ulm struck again right away in the second inning when Kamm and Strandmark scored on a single by Ellie Schneider.
"We just tried to hit the ball hard on the ground and work on hitting the ball up the middle, and it worked," Schneider said."
Hannah Backer came in to pitch in relief of Schuck in the third inning and pitched five solid innings of relief to finish out the shutout.
Backer gave up zero runs on two hits, three walks, and two strikeouts.
The Eagles tacked two more insurance runs on the board in the third inning on RBI by Sarah Nelsen and Briana Sieve to give them a comfortable 8-0 lead.
Schuck and Backer's shutout was in danger in the top of the fourth inning when BEA managed to load the bases with only one out, but Backer got herself out of the inning by forcing a 1-2-3 double play on a hard ground ball hit back to her.
"We played really good defense as a team today," Schneider said. "The whole team just really stepped up and made the plays that needed to be made."
Backer cruised through the final three innings to secure the win for New Ulm.
Schneider led the Eagles offensively going 2-for-2 with two RBI on the day. Schuck was 2-for-4 with two RBI at the plate.
New Ulm (10-1, 5-0) plays again on Thursday when it hosts Waseca.
"If we continue to play good defense and hit the ball hard, we will keep winning games," Schneider said.