The Tri-City United softball team is back in action after a COVID-induced hiatus last spring. Stepping onto the plate for the first time in two years, the Titans battled Nicollet for their first game of the season. But the game didn’t go the Titans’ way, and Nicollet topped the TCU 11-4.

“Being the first game since 2019, we are still working on figuring where everyone is their strongest on defense,” said first-year head coach Kelly Jo Closser. “I thought we played hard. I saw some really good things that we have been working on in practice over the last nine days. After the game, we do know where we need to spend more time on and make some improvements.”

During the first half, the game was in play for the Titans. Nicollet led in the first inning, capturing two runs, but the Titans scored a run of their own and caught up in the third producing an additional run.

But Nicollet swung back with a dominating performance. In the fourth inning, the Raiders produced four runs and delivered four more in the fifth. The Titans couldn’t keep up, producing just one run in the fifth. In two innings the game went from 2-2 to 10-3 in Nicollet’s favor.

Nicollet would collect one more run in the sixth and the Titans would capture an additional run in the seventh, ending the game 11-4.

Despite the loss, the Titans had several standout performers. Brooke Blaschko led the team with two runs scored after hitting a single and making it to first base with a walk in going 1 for 3.

“Brooke Blaschko had a great game behind to the plate for us,” said Closser. “Brooke has not played a main catching position in probably three or four years, but you would have not been able to tell with her performance for us against Nicollet. Offensively, Brooke is really fun to watch on the bases and gets the team hyped up when she is on.”

Elliana Novak gave the Titans their first home run of the season and batted in two runs in batting 1 for 4. As pitcher, she threw for five innings, producing seven strikeouts and allowing 11 hits.

Molly Closser led the team offensively with four quality at bats, drawing two walks, a double and two stolen bases.

“We moved her around the diamond a lot yesterday and gave us a great showing in every position for us,” said Closser.

“Overall, we do have some work to do,” said Closser. “We need to be more aggressive at the plate and need to cut down on the errors to put ourselves in a better position defensively. I expect our kids will respond and get down to business and put the work in for us.”

Reach Reporter Carson Hughes at 507-931-8575. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All Rights Reserved.

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