Knights rally to beat Thunderbirds

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Sleepy Eye St. Marys’ Gabby Helget gets Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Jordan Rettig out at second for the force in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s Tomahawk Conference softball game in Sleepy Eye.

SLEEPY EYE — Although Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop struck first in Tuesday’s Tomahawk Conference softball game with Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, the Knights answered back with timely hitting to pull away with a 4-1 win at Prairieview Park.

Leah Weiss got the win for the Knights (5-1, 5-0), pitching all seven innings while allowing just one run on three hits. She also struck out nine with no walks and added a double on the offensive end.

Freshman pitcher Brooklyn Werner tossed a nice game for the Thunderbirds (0-4, 0-3) but took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. She struck out 10.

Knights head coach Wendy Owens complimented her pitcher and catcher after the game but said that her team needed to take better cuts at the plate.

“Leah pitched a heck of a game, Kya [Krzmarzick] behind the plate did a nice job,” coach Owens said. “We had a couple of nice things that we did defensively, but offensively, our bats just didn’t do the job the way they need to do it in games like this. We should be putting bat on a ball a little bit better than we did today.”

Both teams had trouble getting on base in the early innings, with the first hit coming in the top of the fourth off the bat of GFW’s Jaedan Nachreiner. Nachreiner later stole home on a delayed double steal that saw Jordan Rettig swipe second and Nachreiner take home after the throw to second went into center field, putting GFW up 1-0.

The Knights struck back quickly, though, getting three runs on an RBI triple by Alexa Owens, who went 1 for 2, and a two-run single by Emily Stevens, who ended the day going 2 for 3. The Knights added another run in the sixth inning to lead 4-1 after a missed bunt attempt and pitch that went to the backstop got Reagan Severson, a pinch runner, home.

Rettig added an infield single to lead off the seventh, but she was forced out at second before a double play ended the game. Lisette Guzman also had a base hit for the Thunderbirds.

“It was a good pitching performance by Brooklyn, but it was a whole team effort, you have nine girls on the field,” GFW head coach Brian Magnusson said. “We’re a very young team and very inexperienced at softball, but the more we play, the more we learn, and that’s what we’re going for. I have a lot of freshman, a lot of sophomores and three seniors, that’s my team. So a lot of youth and little age.”

St. Mary’s hosts Springfield for a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, while GFW returns home for a doubleheader with Sleepy Eye at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.