NEW ULM - It was a nail-biter, assuming anyone was brave enough to take their hands out of their pockets at Minnesota Valley Lutheran's Wind Tunnel Field.
In the end, it was Nicollet ending MVL's two-game win streak, coming back from 3-0 and 5-2 deficits to win 6-5 in prep softball action Friday.
The 6-3 Raiders arrived late to the field and didn't have much time to warm up, literally as well as figuratively, and it took pitcher Sara Meurer time to get on track.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Allison Lease slides in to second as Nicollet’s Hannah Beckius catches the ball Friday at MVL.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"Sara didn't get warmed up until the third inning," Nicollet coach Brianne Ruedy said. "But we have a great defense, and offensively we were finally able to take advantage of where they were playing. This is a tough place to play with the wind. We're getting there."
It was a disappointing loss for the Chargers, who drop to 2-11 after a doubleheader sweep of Buffalo Lake-Hector.
"We should have been able to win the game," MVL coach Dave Biedenbender said. "But we gave them some things back and probably gave them four of their runs. We just have to keep working at it."
The Chargers jumped out early, with Meurer's first pitch hitting Charlotte Pfingsten in the back. Pfingsten stole second and scored on a single to center by Karissa Schlottman. Johanna Kettner then walked, with a double lined to right center by Nicole Rieger clearing the bases and giving MVL a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the second, Taylor Lanz hit a bloop single to right, followed by a walk to Meurer and a single by Hannah Beckius to load the bases. Alysa Wagner then took a pass, forcing home Lanz and cutting the lead to 3-1.
Nicollet sliced the lead further in the third when Mindy Poehler walked, Natasha Young-Kruse reached on an error and Poehler coming home on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
The Chargers were able to regain a three-run lead in the third, when Kettner walked, stole second and scored on a single to left by Allison Lease. Lease stole second, then came home on an error allowed Molly Maasz to reach, making it 5-2.
In the top of the fourth, Sarah Molitor walked and went to third on a Wagner single to center. Both players scored on a grounder by Cassie Juberien when there was a wild throw home trying to catch Molitor, making it 5-4.
With two out in the Raiders sixth, consecutive doubles down the third base line by Emily Fischer and Juberien tied it at 5-5. It looked like the Chargers would escape the inning on a pop-up by Poehler, but the ball was dropped, allowing Juberien to come across with what was the winning run.
From the fourth inning on, Meurer allowed just three baserunners and two hits to be the winning pitcher. Schlottman took the loss for the Chargers.
MVL hosts Wabasso at 5 p.m. Monday, while Nicollet travels to play Madelia-Truman in a 5 p.m. matchup on Monday.