Head St. Scholastica softball coach Jen Walter earned her 300th coaching victory on Friday as the Saints defeated Martin Luther 13-4 and Bethany Lutheran 3-2 in soggy conditions at Kenwood Field.
Walter is the second-fastest to reach 300 coaching wins in CSS history, behind the late John Baggs. She has the third-most wins at St. Scholastica, behind the aforementioned Baggs and head men’s and women’s tennis coach Wells Patten, who has 353 victories combined between the two programs.
CSS (25-11, 18-1 UMAC) is hosting the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) softball crossover this weekend. Today featured six games on two fields, four at CSS’s Kenwood Field and two at UMD’s Junction Field. The Saints played the final two games of the day at Kenwood Field.
The first game of the day was against Martin Luther College. After the Knights went down in order in the top of the first, Merryssa Tiedeman (So.-Zumbrota, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa) led off the game with a double and two batters later Kristin Swartz (Sr.-Hermantown, Minn.) hit a three-run home run to make it 3-0. Jen Falk (Jr.-Altona, Man.) added a RBI-single later in the inning to make it 4-0 after the first.
Kali Carlson (So.-Duluth, Minn./Central) scored on a wild pitch and Bonnie Kowalczyk (Fr.-Menomonee Falls, Wis.) had a RBI-single in the second to extend the lead to 6-0. CSS added five more runs in the third inning to make it 11-0. Kayla Jenkins (Jr.-Esko, Minn.) had a RBI to get the scoring started. Tiedeman then had a two-run double, which was her 17th of the season, which ties a program record and it also broke the team record for doubles in a season.
The Knights scored two runs in both the fourth and fifth inning to cut the margin to 10-4. In the bottom of the fifth, Swartz stepped to the plate and hit her second home run of the game, a two-run shot to end the game in the fifth by the eight-run mercy rule 13-4.
Falk earned her ninth win of the season, while going 2-for-2 at the plate. Swartz had the five RBIs off of the two home runs.
Against Bethany Lutheran to finish the day, the Saints fell behind 2-0 early after the Vikings scored runs in the first two innings. Betsy Wehseler (Jr.-Ironton, Minn./Crosby-Ironton) had a RBI-single in the bottom of the second to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
CSS then took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third when Swartz hit a two-run single up the middle to score Tiedeman and Erika Solin (Sr.-Duluth, Minn./Central). That score held up the rest of the way, but not without drama. The Vikings loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh, but CSS pitcher Shannen Schmidt (Fr.-De Pere, Wis.) struck out the final two batters to earn the complete-game victory.
Schmidt struck out a season-high 11 to earn her sixth victory of the season. Swartz capped off a solid day with two hits and two RBIs in game two. Tiedeman extended her program-record hitting streak to 20 games.
The Saints will finish the crossover tomorrow when they face the University of Minnesota-Morris at 10 a.m. at Kenwood Field.
Courtesy: CSS Athletics