PAULLINA - The South O'Brien softball girls won two of the five games they played last week.
Last Wednesday, the Wolverines triumphed, 7-5 over their old Sioux Valley Conference foe, now a fellow member of the War Eagle Conference, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn.
Taylor Paulsen went all seven innings for the win, giving up five runs (one earned) on eight hits, striking out three, issuing just one walk and hitting one batter.
Brett Struve led the way at the plate for SOS with a 2 for 3 performance and one RBI; Casie Rehder was 2 for 4; and Rachel Struve was 1 for 4 with three RBI.
Wolverine coach Heather Struve summarized, "This was a great win for us! We had the same number of hits as HMS, but we capitalized on some of their early errors to push some runs across the plate in the early innings of the game, and then held on for the win. Paulsen pitched an excellent game."
On Friday, the Wolverines played in a tournament at Granville Spalding, taking on the Sioux Center Warriors in another well-played game, won by Sioux Center, 4-0.
Rachel Struve had the only hit of the game for SOS, a single, and Taylor Paulsen took the hard-luck loss, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits, while striking out one, hitting one, and walking no one,
Coach Struve said, "Paulsen threw a terrific game and we played a super defensive game, but just could not get the bats going, as we popped out 12 times and only had one hit as a team. This was a tough loss."
Continuing in tournament play at Granville on Saturday, the Wolverines won a tight one over host Spalding, 7-6, in eight innings. SOS led the entire game until the 7th inning, when Spalding tied it up at 5-5. SOS came back to then score twice in the 8th, and Erin Brasser turned a big double play to start the 8th and Taylor Paulsen got the last out of the inning to seal the win.
Paulsen threw another eight innings in this contest, giving up six runs (two earned) on nine hits, while striking out three, walking two, and hitting one. Alyssa Bainbridge was 2 for 3 with two RBI; Brasser was 2 for 4 with two RBI; Emma Sweeney 2 for 4 with one RBI; and Brett Struve was 1 for 4 and scored twice.
Struve lauded her players for being able to take advantage of Spalding mistakes, and she also singled out the bottom third of the batting order, saying that it was very nice to see the 7-8-9 hitters collect five of the Wolverines' nine hits.
The following day, the Wolverines concluded their tournament play, dropping a 7-3 decision to West Sioux.
Kendra Rohlfsen had a triple for SOS and Erin Brassr was 1-2 with an RBI. Emily Riedemann pitched all six innings (the game was called early because of a time limit) and she allowed seven runs (one earned) on seven hits, walking two and striking out three,
Struve said it was Riedemann's best performance of the year. "Her change-up was really working," said the coach," and throwing batters off. We scored all three of our runs in the 1st inning,and then could not put any more on the board. We had three errors on defense - that really hurt us also. As a team, I thought we really hit the ball well all day."
On Monday, the Wolverines hosted Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn in War Eagle action, and the Eagles came out on top, 15-3, in five innings.
Emma Sweeney was 2 for 2 with 1 run scored and Breana Van Beek was 1 for 2 with one run scored.
Pitchers Taylor Paulsen and Emily Riedemann posted similar stat lines. Paulsen went 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (one earned) on four hits, walking four, and striking out one, and Riedemann pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (two earned) on four hits, walking three, fanning two and hitting one. Kendra Rohlfsen went 2/3 inning, and gave up one hit, five runs (none earned), 3 BB, and 1 SO
Struve said, "We had seven hits as a team, which was a big improvement over the first time we played MMC, when we had no hits. We had four errors in the field, which cost us quite a bit because of their timely hitting (usually when the bases were loaded) . The main problem in the game, however, was (our pitchers) finding the strike zone. We gave up way too many walks to be in the game."