Cathedral clobbers Loyola in prep softball

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm Cathedral’s Lauryn Franta slides into second as Mankato Loyola shortstop Rae Dose catches the ball Thursday at Harman Park in New Ulm. For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

NEW ULM — New Ulm Cathedral’s barrage of hits took care of Mankato Loyola on Thursday.

The Greyhounds defeated the Crusaders 14-6 in nonconference softball action.

The Greyhounds (17-1) collected 17 hits from pitcher Kenady Benning and the Crusaders (12-6).

Josie Pautzke picked up the win for the Greyhounds, with two strikeouts and one walk allowed. She pitched the complete game allowing 12 hits.

Greyhounds co-coach Jamie Portner was pleased with her team’s offense, but also praised the defense for their efforts.

“We hit the ball really well today,” Portner said. “We had talked about getting on top of the ball. We’ve been popping up more than we wanted to — so we hit really well today — but I think our defense kept us in this game. McKenna had three deep flies back there and some amazing catches. So I think our defense really kept us in this game and allowed us to get back in there and hit quick.”

After two innings of play, the Greyhounds led 7-2, highlighted by a two-run double by Mason Brand in the first inning. In the top of the third inning, Kayla Gross took a run back for Loyola on a solo homer.

After a quiet bottom of the third for Cathedral, Gross struck again in the top of the fourth, this time with a 3-run homer to cut Loyola’s deficit to 7-6.

Gross finished 2 for 4 for Loyola with the two home runs and four RBIs.

Cathedral went up 9-7 in the bottom of the fourth on a wild pitch that scored a run and an RBI base hit by Rose Hazuka, her third consecutive run-scoring hit. Hazuka finished the game going 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

McKenna Berdan and Josie Pautzke also went 3 for 4 for the Greyhounds, with Pautzke adding a double and a three-run homer.

Cathedral added seven more runs in the sixth inning to run away with things, led by Pautzke’s three-run shot to left-center. Brand and Nicole Gangelhoff also added two hits each for Cathedral.

“We talked about the need to win today and having momentum going into postseason,” Portner said. “That was going to help us. We knew they were a good hitting team and they proved that and so getting that win is huge just for our momentum.

Cathedral opens Section 2A playoff action Tuesday against an opponent yet to be determined.