NEW ULM - When Sleepy Eye St. Mary's Knights softball player Larissa Helget stomped on home plate in the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game against the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds, it was more of a period to the end of a statement than the winning run.
The Knights knocked the Greyhounds from the unbeaten ranks Tuesday by sweeping Cathedral 4-3 and 6-5, with St. Mary's improving to 7-3 and Cathedral dropping to 9-2.
"We've been building up to this," Knights coach Wendy Owens said. "We've had two tough games against Lester Prairie and St. Margaret-Benilde, and we didn't swing the bats well. We saved them up for this. It's kind of tough because only the first games of these doubleheaders are counted for (Tomahawk) conference standings, so the second game was icing on the cake."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s Leah Krzmarzick slides into home under the tag of Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Maddy Helget during the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Harman Park in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"This was a tough doubleheader," Cathedral coach Bob Mertz said. "They just beat us, the hit the ball better than we did. It's frustrating. This makes our game against (undefeated) GFW (Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop) on Thursday huge. We'll find out what we're made of at that game."
The first game began as a pitchers duel between the Knights Maddy Helget and the Greyhounds Leah Krzmarzick, with no scoring in the first three innings. But in the top of the fourth, St. Mary's Larissa Helget opened with a walk and scored on a laser triple down the first base line by Bethany Berkner, with Berkner making it 2-0 on a Karissa Fleck single.
Later, Maddy Helget slashed a hit to left to score teammates Jenna Hose and Deonna Brinkman to open a 4-0 lead. Cathedral responded in the bottom of the inning when Anne Schwarz coaxed a walk with one out and went to third on a throwing error after MacKinnon Ehlenz's grounder.
Schwarz scored on a passed ball, with Ehlenz making it 4-2 after a Krzmarzick single. Krzmarzick came home later on a wild pitch, slicing the St. Mary's lead to 4-3.
The Greyhounds almost tied it in the bottom of the seventh with two down when Jenessa Rothmeier reached on an infield hit and tried to score on a deep double to center by Karlee Pfaff. But the relay home caught Rothmeier by an eyelash and the Knights held on for the win.
In the second game, Cathedral took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth, scoring single runs in the top of the first and fifth. Three straight St. Mary's singles cut that to 2-1, with Emily Schumacher beating out an infield hit to load the bases. Berkner's bleeder single to left scored Maddy Helget and Karlie Heiderscheidt, giving the Knights a 3-2 lead.
A grounder and a throwing error allowed St. Mary's to take a 5-2 lead, but Cathedral was back in it in the top of the sixth, scoring two to make it 5-4. Pfaff then blasted a towering home run to center in the top of the seventh to tie it at 5-5.
But in the bottom of the seventh, Larissa Helget led off with a walk and scored the winning run later when Berkner knocked a first pitch single to center to plate Helget from third for the sweep.
In B-squad action, the Greyhounds won 3-0 and 10-4, with Anna Mohr and Nicole Gangelhoff the winning pitchers. Rachel Guggisberg had a single and two runs batted in the first game, with Aubrie Smith hitting a triple and a double for three RBI's.
St. Mary's plays Sleepy Eye Public in a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., while Cathedral travels to Winthrop to take on GFW, also a doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m.