MORRIS – With game-time temperatures hovering near 40 degrees and winds howling our of the west at nearly 30 miles per hour, the Morris softball team hosted Wilmington on Friday afternoon in a nonconference game.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Wilmington but the fields there were not playable, so the game was moved to Morris. Batting as the visiting team, Morris jumped out to a huge lead early against the Wildcats, and pitcher Sunny Winker, scoring six times on five hits, then added on in an eight run second as the Redskins buried Wilmington by a 17-1 score.
“You know, we have an injury bug right now. My shortstop and second baseman are injured. It’s a nonconference game, and after Miranda [Southall] pitched the first two games, we wanted to get Sunny some work in,” Wilmington coach Jake Skole said. “We wanted to get her some work, but obviously this wasn’t the best of conditions and she couldn’t feel the ball. We were hoping to get some inning out of her and to save Miranda a little bit. It’s a long season, and we can’t afford to get anybody else injured.”
In the Morris first, Kelly Kolotka doubled with one out, and Lauren Severson singled. Taya Torkelson followed with a single and Alex Cook, Emily Moore and Kellen Bernickus walked in succession. Leah Lines followed with a single, Laurel Harper then reached on an error and Maddy Feeney walked before the six-run first came to an end.
In the second, the highlight for the Redskins was a three-run homer off the bat of Bernickus with Torkelson adding a double. Late in the game, Harper had an RBI single in the third against Southall, and Kolotka had a two-RBI single in the fifth. The winning pitcher was Laurel Harper. She pitched four innings in relief of starter Abby Burns. Harper allowed two hits while walking two and striking out two. Burns walked one in the first inning before being lifted.
“It was nice to get Laurel a chance to throw. She pitched some good innings. We also got the chance to get some of the other girls in,” Morris coach Jen Lowery said. “They got the chance to see a good pitcher when Southall came in. So some of the girls got to see good pitching, which is nice for them.”
Morris is 6-0 on the season and Wilmington falls to 2-1.
“After last year, this is a nice turnaround,” Lowery said. “The attitude on the team is different this year. The girls are positive and happy. That is nice to have.”