Denn sisters homer, 18U splits

NEW ULM – Kali and Brittany Denn each hit a solo home run in the New Ulm 18U softball team’s split at the Windmill Classic tournament on Saturday.

New Ulm lost to Norwood-Young America 7-2 in Game 1 before beating Worthington 2-1 in Game 2.

“With the rain and the weather, we haven’t gotten a lot of games in – this is only the second or third game of the year,” said New Ulm coach Dan Schneider. “Defensively, I think we’re getting there. We hit a little bit better in the second game and we’ll try to continue that tomorrow.”

Kali Denn hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning of Game 1 to cut the Raiders’ deficit to 7-2. Emily Zink tallied the other RBI earlier in the game for New Ulm, which had six scattered hits and no player with more than one hit.

New Ulm had to shift its lineup in transitioning into Game 2, moving Karlee Pfaff from her familiar post behind the plate to shortstop.

“[Pfaff] did great,” Schneider said. “She’s athletic enough and she knows how to play. She did a fine job there.”

Kali Denn called the game at catcher in place of Pfaff for Game 2.

Brittany Denn followed her big sister’s example and belted a solo shot over the left-field fence to give New Ulm a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the third inning.

New Ulm allowed one run in the top of the fourth, but recorded quick outs with five-pitch innings in both the fifth and sixth. Tori Botten notched two of her four strikeouts of the game for the first two outs of the seventh before a 4-3 putout ended the game to seal New Ulm’s 2-1 win.

In Game 2, Botten allowed one earned run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a complete-game, 82-pitch effort. She went 1-1 on the day.

Schneider said Hannah Backer will join the roster for Sunday’s three games to give Botten a break here and there.

“I expect to keep going,” Schneider said. “Breaking through and getting our first win was big, I’m expecting a big day tomorrow and to get the bats going.”

New Ulm will play three games on Sunday. Its first game will be at 9:30 a.m. on Harman Field 1 against Buffalo. At 12:30 p.m., it will play Jackson on Harman Field 3 and will conclude its day on that same field at 2 p.m. against St. James.

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