By Dave Clark
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - On a breezily crisp spring day at Harman Park, the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds look like they've got a full head of steam heading into the playoffs.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s Abby Hauser drives a pitch during the first game of a doubleheader against Minnesota Valley Lutheran Tuesday at Harman Park in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Cathedral dispatched Minnesota Valley Lutheran twice on Tuesday, 13-0 and 16-2, moving the Greyhounds to 15-1 and giving head coach Bob Mertz win No. 708, moving past former New Ulm baseball coach Jim Senske, who retired with 707 wins.
"We've got a great group of seniors on this team," Mertz said.
But it was senior MacKinnon Ehlenz who summed up the mood of the team concerning a championship.
"We want it," Ehlenz said. "Bad."
Cathedral jumped on MVL right away, scoring three times with the help of an error and runs batted in from Abby Hauser and Anne Schwarz. But it wasn't until there were two outs in the third the Greyhounds pushed open the hitting floodgates.
Schwarz nailed a solid hit to left, followed by a double down the third base line from Leah Krzmarzick. A double to the left field fence by Kristin Mohr made it 5-0, with McKenna Berdan hammering a home run over the left field fence, widening the lead to 7-0.
Cathedral scored an eighth run in that inning, then finished things off in the fourth with a bases-loaded double by Berdan that made it 10-0. An RBI single by Jenessa Rothmeier was followed by a bases-loaded walk and an error that allowed the final three runs to score.
While the Greyhounds started off Game 2 with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Rothmeier triple and Morgan Schabert double, the Chargers briefly tied the game in the bottom of the first.
Charlotte Pfingsten singled to center, stole second and scored on Shelby Hammerschmidt's double to the left field fence. It took until the top of the third when Cathedral marched 19 batters to the plate and scored eight runs for the Greyhounds to further bleaken the MVL hopes.
During that rally, there were eight hits, including a two-run double by Schabert, seven singles, two runs scored on fly balls, two wild pitches and a throwing error. Leading 9-1, the Greyhounds' final stamp came in the fourth when Mohr, Ehlenz and Lindsay Simon all doubled, adding to three singles that increased the Cathedral lead to 16-1.
The second bright spot for the Chargers came off the bat of Mary Kate Santelman, who hit a pitch over the left field fence in the fourth to make it 16-2.
Cathedral travels to take on Sleepy Eye in a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. MVL faces Comfrey/Cedar Mountain in Comfrey in a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.