Waseca Softball vs WEM

Waseca softball third baseman Isabel DenOuden tosses the ball across the diamond to first baseman Rachel Breck, as pitcher Michaela Shifflett watches on. The Jays lost 11-0 to WEM in their opening game. (Philip Weyhe/Waseca County News)

It was a difficult start for Waseca softball, as the BlueJays weren’t able to come up with a hit against Waterville-Elysian-Morristown ace Tristan Herring.

The Bucaneers beat the Jays 11-0 in Waseca’s opener at the high school fields Tuesday. Waseca hitters struggled with Herring’s velocity and placement; coach Lenny Kroll said he’d like to see some quick improvement from his squad at the plate.

“Tristan Herring throws hard, but she didn’t change speeds at all, and against us, she didn’t need to,” Kroll said. “She kept the ball on the outside of the plate, and we couldn’t catch up. We had one base runner, a walk by Harguth, and didn’t put a ball on the left side of the diamond. The handful of balls that we put in play were popped up or grounded to the right side. Some of this was to be expected being our first action of the year, but it shouldn’t excuse everything.”

He added, “We need to get up on the plate and we need to quit watching good pitches go by. Before our next game we will be looking at as much live pitching as we can get.”

Defensive mistakes also caused some problems for the Jays.

“We committed seven errors and also made some mental mistakes that didn’t help our cause,” Kroll said. “My goal from the beginning was to limit mistakes and to capitalize on the opposing team’s mistakes. We failed to do this against WEM.”

But there was some good news on the day. Waseca pitcher Michaela Shifflett performed well, Kroll thought. She struck out nine batters in six innings.

“She did a good job of keeping a good hitting team off balance by mixing change ups and fastballs, moving up and down as well as in and out of the plate,” Kroll said. “She did give up 13 hits, but she did a great job of limiting hard contact. In fact, if we do a better job making the routine plays, the score would have been a lot more manageable.”

There were also some bright spots on defense.

“First baseman Rachel Breck showed off her flexibility to get outs and to help out her fellow infielders,” Kroll said. “The middle infield combo of Amia Broughton and Eliza Harguth played solid defense with a couple of chances each. Finally, the catcher Emily Dammann did a solid job of communicating with Shifflett while mixing the pitches and location.”

The Jays were scheduled to play their next at Medford Friday evening, but as of Thursday, the weather conditions pointed to the game being postponed or canceled. The next home game is scheduled for April 15 vs Tri-City United.

Reach Editor Philip Weyhe at 507-931-8567 or follow him on Twitter @EditorPhilipWeyhe.

©Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Northfield News and Faribault Daily News reporter. Email at pweyhe@northfieldnews.com. Call at 507-333-3132.

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