By BRAD SALMEN
The Dassel-Cokato softball team opened up the season by splitting their first two games of the year, both at home.
DC fell to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 6-3 Friday before gaining an 8-4 victory over Watertown-Mayer Tuesday.
HLWW 6, DC 3
COKATO – The visiting Lakers pushed across five runs in the fourth inning, and held on for a 6-3 victory in the season opener for both teams Friday.
The Chargers cracked out 12 hits, but stranded 10 runners on base including leaving the bases loaded in the third and fifth, and runners on second and third in the second.
“Getting the runners on is promising, and we will work hard to close that gap as the season moves forward for us,” said coach Wendy Runquist.
Bethany Wagner drove in all three runs for DC, scoring Brooke Koelln on a sac fly in the first, and scoring Katelyn Lee and Anya Liefermann with a two-run single in the fourth.
Amy Kivisto threw a complete game on the mound, giving up nine hits and one earned run, while walking five and striking out five.
“Amy had a good first game. Our defense held tough for a few innings and let our nerves get the best of us for some innings,” said Runquist. “Consistency both offensively and defensively will be the focus for us to grow.”
Lee, Leifermann, Kivisto, and Annie Seaberg all had two hits for DC, with Liefermann and Seaberg cracking doubles.Koelln reached base three times from the leadoff slot, with a single and two walks.
DC 8, Watertown-Mayer 4
COKATO – The Chargers bounced back from the season-opening loss with an 8-4 victory over the visiting Royals Tuesday.
“Again, we had many runners on base, and this time we executed better to get more in for runs,” said Runquist.
Abby Schrupp went the first two innings for DC on the rubber, striking out two and giving up one run.
Kivisto went the next five innings, striking out eight and giving up two earned runs.
“Defensively, we still made a few errors, but were able to minimize them much better this game,” said Runquist. “Brooke Koelln showed us what a great leadoff hitter does, and went 3-for-4 with two singles and a double. Kate Lee’s leadership is undeniable on and off the field. She went 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk.”
Runquist made sure to thank Darren Koelln and the outside grounds crew for working so hard to get the fields game-ready.
“The fields look great, and this is the earliest we have been outside practicing and playing on them in years,” Runquist said.