Softball Opens Season in Rochester

Dylan Zimmerman

The College of St. Scholastica softball team opened up it’s season this past weekend in Rochester, Minnesota with a pair of games on both Saturday and Sunday. The Saints dropped all four games, but proved that the team this year will once again be a force to reckon with in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). Two of the four teams they played were nationally ranked in the Top 10.

The first two games, which were inside the Rochester Dome on Saturday afternoon, were rather tough for the Saints. Their first opponent, No. 9 St. Catherine, proved to be the toughest opponent on the weekend. The Saints gave up three runs in the top of the first to St. Kate’s, but most of the damage came in the fifth inning when the Wildcats scratched across eight runs to enforce the mercy rule at 14-0. The Saints picked up two hits in the game, coming off the bats of Alexa Bremer and Olivia Bretting.

Following the tough opening loss to the season, the Saints took on Nebraska Wesleyan later that day. Once again, the Saints found themselves down early as the score read 2-0 after two innings of play. However, the Saints scored their first run of the season in the top of the third after Bremer knocked in Samantha Clark with a double to make the score 2-1. Bretting, using a “monkey see, monkey do” mentality, then doubled as well to bring in Bremer and knot the game at 2-2. Despite the promising start, the Saints faltered at the plate for the remainder of the game and gave up six more runs to the Prairie Wolves to fall by a final of 8-2. Vanessa Kohl struck out five NWU batters in the loss.

The closest game of the trip occurred Sunday morning when the Saints battled Simpson College. The Storm struck early, scoring a run in the top of the first to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. The scoring came to a halt until the top of the fifth inning, which is when Simpson tacked on two more runs to make it 3-0. For the Saints, who were looking to avoid being shut out for the second time in as many days, it was about to get very interesting. They cut the Storm lead to two in the bottom of the sixth after Hannah Borgeson crossed home plate thanks to a Chrisi Mizera single. Then, the Saints made more noise in the bottom of the seventh when Jena O’Byrne scored of a Simpson College error to make it 3-2. However, the Saints weren’t able to bring in the tying run and fell to defeat for their third straight game. Borgeson had a great game at the plate, despite the loss, going 3-for-3 and recording a run.

The Saints then closed out their opening weekend with a game against No. 6 Luther College. The Norse built a steady 3-0 lead through three innings, then broke open the game in the fourth with three unearned runs to make the score 6-0. The Saints weren’t able to get the bats going when needed, falling to Luther after both teams went scoreless in the final three innings.

The Saints, who are off to a shaky 0-4 start, will be out of commission until they head to Florida for their spring break trip on March 12th. Given the tough competition they have already faced, they should be prepared and set to bring some wins back to Minnesota.