Cronk homers

Erica Cronk continued her hot hitting in a doubleheader April 9 in Pipestone. The Giants and Arrows split. (County News file photo)

Pipestone put together a five-run second inning to hand the Le Sueur-Henderson softball team an 8-3 first-game loss in an April 9 doubleheader.

But the visiting Giants came back strong in the second game, earning a split with an 8-4 victory.

The Giants moved last week’s games up to avoid the snowstorm and blizzard conditions which hit the region Wednesday and Thursday.

Next on deck, weather permitting, for LS-H is a Thursday, April 18 doubleheader at Bender Park in Henderson against Minnesota River Conference newcomer Southwest Christian of Chaska. It’s then an April 23 game versus Tri-City United at Le Center.

The Giants’ record stands at 3-2.

Pipestone 8, Giants 3

The Arrows’ five-run second inning was too much for the Giants to overcome as LS-H dropped the first game in Pipestone.

Pipestone pitcher Adrianna Johnson held the Giants in check, going through a perfect first three innings as the Arrows built a 6-0 lead.

The Giants finally got through to Johnson with three of their six hits in the fourth. Liz Milam broke up the perfect game with a single, followed by a single by Halle Bemmels. Kelsey Berndt drove in the Giants’ first run with another single.

But Pipestone put together two more runs in the fifth inning to increase the lead to 8-1.

The Giants added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning to narrow the gap. Berndt led off with a single and scored on Zoe Thomson’s triple. Erica Cronk’s single scored Thomson to make it 8-3. But that was it.

Berndt took the pitching loss for the Giants. She struck out four, walked three and gave up nine hits. Johnson limited the Giants to six hits.

Berndt had two of those hits.

Giants 000 100 2 — 3 6 2

Arrows 150 020 x — 8 9 0

Giants 8, Pipestone 4

LS-H turned things around in the second game on the strength of eighth-grade pitcher Rhyan Fritz.

Fritz struck out four, walked two and limited a good-hitting Pipestone team to just five hits. She also went 1-for-2 at the plate and reached a second time on a hit by pitch.

The Giants’ offense came to life against Pipestone pitcher Jessa Reinhert, putting together 12 hits.

LS-H took the early lead with a run in the first. Milam led off with a single but was caught stealing. With two outs, Olivia Fritz walked, stole second and second on a Berndt single.

Pipestone tied it with a run in the bottom half of the inning, but the Giants came right back in the second. Emily Wilke reached on an error and moved up a base on a Mia Preuhs ground out. Wilke scored on Milam’s RBI single.

The Giants never lost that lead. Three more runs in the third improved the LS-H advantage to 5-1. Olivia Fritz ripped a one-out double and scored on a Zoe Thomson single. And Cronk followed with a two-run homer.

Pipestone added a run in the third to close to within 5-2, thanks to a Paige Ahrendt homer. But two more runs in the Giants’ fifth inning increase their lead to 7-2. A Preuhs ground out with the bases loaded scored one and an Arrows’ error plated another.

Pipestone added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, while the Giants’ final run also came across in the top of the sixth. Thomson doubled, with Chloe Brandt going in as a courtesy runner and stealing third. She scored on a Cronk single, her third RBI of the game.

Thomson was perfect at the plate, going 2-for-2 and adding two base on balls. Milam led the Giants with three hits, while Olivia Fritz went 1-2 with two stolen bases and a walk.

Giants 113 021 0 — 8 12 3

Arrows 101 011 0 — 4 5 1

Reach Dana Melius at 507-276-4077.

Regional Managing Editor, Adams Publishing Group--Southern Minnesota/Western Division: St. Peter Herald, Waseca County News, Le Center Leader, Le Sueur News-Herald

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