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Minnesota West baseball, softball teams gear up for weekend doubleheaders

Apr. 12—WORTHINGTON — The baseball and softball teams at Minnesota West Community and Technical College each have doubleheaders ahead of them this weekend.

The softball team will be at home Saturday for a MCAC South division clash with St. Cloud Technical CC, while the baseball team will be on the road that day against Century College and then the two teams will come to Worthington for a Sunday doubleheader.

Here is a look ahead at those upcoming matchups for each of the Minnesota West teams.

Softball

The Lady Jays are set for their third consecutive home doubleheader of the season as they face off with a MCAC South division rival.

St. Cloud Technical CC started its season in early March. The Cyclones lost their first six games before rebounding later in the month, at one point winning five straight games. Now they are 8-14 overall and 1-1 in the MCAC South.

They enter the matchup with wins in two of their last four games, having split each of their last two doubleheaders.

The Lady Jays are 3-4 overall this season and 2-2 in the MCAC South following doubleheaders against M State Fergus Falls and Rochester CTC in the past week.

The Jays swept their home doubleheader with Fergus Falls on April 6, winning the first game 12-10 and the second 19-11. After that, they were swept in their doubleheader with Rochester on Tuesday. They lost the first game 10-1 and the second one 14-5. It was a rescheduled doubleheader that was originally going to take place on April 2.

Among the primary contributors for Minnesota West at the plate this season have been Makenzie Allen, Keytin Elser and Sondra Rindfleisch. Allen leads the team in runs (15), hits (16), doubles (six) and batting average (.640). Her batting average and slugging percentage of 1.160 are also in the top 10 in Division III NJCAA.

Elser is close behind Allen in all those categories. She has 15 hits, a .625 batting average, a 1.042 slugging percentage and she leads the team in RBI's with 13. Rindfleisch is batting .450 and has hit a couple of home runs.

Starting on the mound in all seven games for the Jays has been Alayna Wingate and she's collected 51 strikeouts. She also hit a home run at the plate.

Following Saturday's doubleheader with St. Cloud Tech, the Lady Jays will be back on the road for a rematch with Rochester next Tuesday. They will face the Cyclones again on April 26 at the end of the season.

Baseball

The Bluejays baseball team is set to play its first MCAC South division games of the season this weekend.

They will face off against a good Century College team that is 20-8 overall and 3-1 in division play. The Wood Ducks are also coming off a solid season where they went 34-16 and 13-3 in the MCAC South last year.

The Bluejays hold a 9-11 overall record this season and are coming off four straight wins at home last weekend over Minnesota Post Grad. On a Friday doubleheader, the Jays won the first game 5-1 and the second one 10-9. They followed that up with another sweep in a Saturday doubleheader, winning the first game 7-4 and the second one 8-7.

West has gotten plenty of contributions from multiple players both at the plate and on the mound this season. At the plate, sophomore infielder Joe Zhu leads the team in hits (25) and batting average. He also leads the team in doubles with nine and in slugging percentage at .710.

Sophomore outfielder Axell Espino has 21 hits and a .356 batting average and he leads the team in runs with 19. Fernando Marte is the team leader in home runs with four and RBIs with 20.

Leading the Minnesota West pitching staff so far has been freshman Triston Sauerbrei. The 2023 Worthington High School graduate has a 3-1 record and a team-leading 27 strikeouts with a 3.18 earned run average.

Freshman Jordan Bauer has also pitched well for the Bluejays with a 2-1 record, 25 strikeouts and a team-leading 3.06 ERA. He was named MCAC pitcher of the week last week for his performance in game one of last Friday's doubleheader.

Other impactful pitchers on the staff are freshman Conner Eich, who is 1-1 with 25 strikeouts, Robert Reyes with a 1-1 record with 20 strikeouts and Slayton native Abe Paulzine, who has 16 strikeouts.

After their four games with Century College, the Bluejays will hit the road next Wednesday for a doubleheader with Dordt JV.