Hits contagious for New Ulm in 12-0 rout
NEW ULM – The flood gates opened wide for the New Ulm softball team after a scoreless first inning gave the look of what could have been a tough contest.
A six-run second inning and two consecutive three-run innings after that propelled New Ulm to a 12-0 victory against Fairmont in five innings on Saturday at Harman Park in New Ulm.
“They looked far more confident at the plate today,” said New Ulm coach Kristi Andersen Loose. “We talked about hits being contagious and they just had to feed off of each other and they did a really nice job of that.”
The Eagles (2-0, 1-0 South Central) outhit the Cardinals 13-3 in the victory with eight different players tallying a hit – five of whom each tallied two.
“The girls do a really nice job of waiting for the pitch that they want and I felt like they were very disciplined at the plate today,” Andersen Loose said. “That certainly showed.”
The Cardinals (0-1, 0-1) reached second base three times, but the Eagles’ defense never allowed them to get to third at any point in the game. Sophomore Abby Fitzgerald got to second base two of those three times, leading the team at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance.
“I don’t want to sound cocky because I’m not, but I think we can play better against them; they just got on top early,” said Fairmont coach Terry Ehlert. “We’re not really scared of them anymore, but they’re still a good team.”
Both teams left two on base after the scoreless first inning. New Ulm junior Tori Botten threw three-straight strikeouts to blank the Cardinals in the top of the second before her team caught fire.
A one-out double over the third baseman’s head by Abby Kamm drove in Brittany Denn and Katie Forst for the first runs of the game, starting the outbreak of contagious hits that followed.
Kali Denn followed that up with a floater to center field that drove in Briana Sieve to make it 3-0 in New Ulm’s favor.
In the next at-bat, Botten blasted a 1-0 shot to the left-center fence for a three-run double to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead.
“It was my second time up to bat so I was waiting for her speed,” Botten said. “I just wanted to get runs in.”
Andersen Loose said the two-run double by Kamm in the second inning was the pivotal moment in the game for the Eagles.
“She’s one of my kids that I just give the green light to do whatever she wants to do,” Andersen Loose said of Kamm, who leads off in the batting order. “I’ve got some hitters that have been around long enough and there is a handful of them that have so many tools at the plate that I just say, ‘If you’re at bat, go do what you do.'”
Kamm and Botten both tallied three RBIs in the game with a combined 4-for-7 outing at the plate, each with a double. Sieve and Kali Denn each had two RBIs and one run with 2-for-3 stands at the plate.
Allie Eversman got the loss, allowing 10 hits and nine runs – seven earned – in three innings of work with three walks and no strikeouts.
“She worked really hard; she did the best she could out there,” Ehlert said of Eversman. “She got a couple pitches up when she didn’t need to, but she also threw some nice pitches too. We had a couple errors that didn’t help us out, but we’ll keep on getting better from that.”
Botten got the win for her second-straight three-inning outing of allowing zero runs and three hits.
Fairmont 000 00 – 0 3 2
New Ulm 063 3x – 12 13 1
Eversman, Krzywicki (4) and Arens; Botten, B. Denn (4), Backer (5) and K. Denn, Dittrich (5).
W – Botten (2-0) 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
L – Eversman (0-1) 3.0 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 21.00 ERA
Leading hitters – Fairmont: Fitzgerald 2-3 2B, Gouchanour 1-2 BB. New Ulm: Kamm 2-4 3 RBI 1 R 2B, Botten 2-3 3 RBI 1 R 2B, B. Denn 2-3 2 R 2B, Sieve 2-3 2 RBI 1 R, K. Denn 2-3 2 RBI 1 R.