Trojans swept by St. Peter in Thursday doubleheader

May 3—WORTHINGTON — The softball team at Worthington High School was swept in its home doubleheader Thursday by a conference-leading St. Peter team.

The doubleheader took place at the Minnesota West softball field instead of the Trojans' typical home at Centennial Fields due to rain in the forecast Thursday Morning.

The Trojans were heading into the matchup coming off games against three of the toughest teams out of the Big South Conference, dropping games to Marshall, New Ulm and Windom.

Thursday's sweep drops Worthington's record to 3-8 overall and 2-5 in conference play. They are in fifth place in the Big South Conference — Big School standings. The Saints are 6-1 in conference play, 8-5 overall and they have the most wins in the Big School standings.

"In practice, we told our girls to just lay out for every ball, like have fun, and we saw a lot more of that in our game," said Trojans head coach Avery Wysong. "I mean, you can't really do anything about the base hits, but our girls are laying out for balls, they're not just letting balls go by them in the infield, so I think our attitude and effort was really good. We just have to learn how to compete and to not let the little things get a hold of us."

Here is a recap of how both games went.

Game 1

St. Peter 14, Worthington 2

Game one of Thursday's doubleheader featured a flurry of runs from the Saints in the final couple of innings to pull away.

In the top of the first inning, they got three hits, scored a run and then had more opportunities to score with a couple of runners on base. But the Trojan defense limited the damage and got out of the inning.

The bats would respond in the bottom of the first as junior starting pitcher and leadoff hitter Bailey Ponto reached base after being hit by a pitch before eventually reaching third base. Three batters later with two outs, junior shortstop Hannah McNab drew a walk and then took second on a wild pitch that also scored Ponto to tie the game.

The next two innings were scoreless before St. Peter surged ahead in the top of the fourth. The Saints scored four runs off three hits and two Trojan errors to take a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, McNab led off with a triple before scoring on an RBI single from senior second baseman Marin Pederson. Pederson would be stranded at first base however as St. Peter got the next two outs.

The Saints had their highest-scoring inning in the top of the sixth as they scored six runs off of eight hits to take a commanding 11-2 lead. They scored twice more in the top of the seventh before Wysong pulled Ponto from the circle.

"We have six games next week, so just trying to save her but also trying to get innings for our younger girls too, because experience in a game is what's going to make them better and what's going to help them learn how to compete too," Wysong said. "Bailey did a really good job and we just thought it was time for her to play a different position and let our other girls pitch as well."

Eighth-grader Margo Menke entered the game and allowed a run before getting the final three outs.

Pederson got her second hit of the game before she was forced out at second on a nice double play that ended the game for St. Peter.

The Trojans had five hits in the game compared to 21 for St. Peter as the Saints began pouring on the offense at the plate late in the game.

Game 2

St. Peter 13, Worthington 2

After pitching a solid seventh inning in game one, Menke pitched to begin the second game and got off to a bit of a rocky start.

The Saints scored eight runs through the first two innings en route to a 13-2 win in five innings. They scored twice in the first inning off two hits, three walks and a fielder's choice before Menke got out of a bases-loaded jam to limit the scoring.

St. Peter did most of its damage in the following inning with six runs off of five hits, three more walks and an error. It was in the second inning with two outs when Menke was replaced by fellow eighth-grader Bria Steves, who would pitch the rest of the game.

With a couple of the younger girls on the Trojan team getting some pitching time, Wysong thinks that experience will help them going forward.

"I think I'll help them a lot," Wysong said. "It's a huge learning experience too, they can take a lot out of this game. Varsity is different even from JV, and they're eighth graders so they played seventh and eighth grade ball last year. So just learning and growing from this game."

St. Peter would score once more in the third inning to make the score 9-0 until the top of the fourth. That was when the Trojans got on the board.

The inning started with a leadoff single from senior catcher Maddie Petersen. McNab then reached base on an error in the following at bat. Another error from the Saints scored Petersen for Worthington's first run. With one out, Pederson connected on an RBI single to score McNab and make the score 9-2 before she was cut off at second base.

In the bottom of the fourth, St. Peter collected four more hits and scored four more runs before clinching the victory in the top of the fifth. The Saints wound up with 13 hits in total.

The Trojans again got five hits in the game with Ponto and Pederson each collecting two and Petersen getting one. Petersen also drew a walk and McNab and Breeta Johnson each reached base on errors.

WHS will play in Marshall on Monday in a game rescheduled from April 16. The Trojans were defeated by Marshall 12-2 when the two schools last played. After that, they will return home Tuesday for a game against Fairmont.