A SUPER SENIOR DAY | WSHS softball sweeps Mayo
The Winona Senior High softball team celebrated its decorated six seniors in style on Thursday sweeping Rochester Mayo 11-1, 10-1.
The Winhawks honored six seniors — Sarah Halverson, Falon Goede, Ambriel Jacobs, Selena Lor, Abby Larson, and Megan Lehnertz — that helped transform the Winhawks program by winning 60 games the last three seasons including a Class AAA state runners up in 2016 and a Class AAA state championship in 2017.
“There has been a lot of memories on this field, a lot of laughs,” Lor said.
Senior day can be an emotional day, but the Winhawks (10-5, 8-3 Big 9 Conference) had no trouble putting it aside, as they set the tone early batting around while scoring five runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. The Winhawks were the road team as this was a makeup game.
Starting fast was one of the main goals for head coach Scott Halverson before the game.
“We talked about that,” Halverson said. “This is a younger team who we were playing in Mayo. They have been a great team the past couple years and you want to take advantage by jumping out early on them. We talked about different mindset we are at home but we are actually the visitors so we want to jump on top right away. We got some big hits and were able to do that.”
Lauryn Hamernik, Paige Grafton, and Ambriel Jacobs all had run-scoring hits in that first inning. Grafton and Jacobs combined to finish 4-for-4 with three RBI and a double between them, plus two walks.
The Winhawks scored 11 runs on eight hits and were helped by five Mayo (3-10, 2-8) errors.
In Game 2, the bats were slowed down a bit. Annika Anderson and Hamernik gave the Winhawks a 2-1 lead with an RBI in the first, but from there the Winhawks’ bats were stymied until the fourth inning.
In the top half of the inning, Anderson gave the Winhawks some momentum by stranding runners on second and third with one out. Anderson earned the win in both games allowing two runs on 10 hits with 15 strikeouts in nine innings.
“We wanted to stretch her out a little bit, because come section tournament time you may play two games back-to-back,” Halverson said. “So we have to get in that mindset...I don’t think she was as sharp as she as been, but boy when she is on she can really be on and she can find another gear when she needs to.”
The Winhawks scored four runs in the bottom of the inning thanks to some run scoring base hits from Lor and Samantha Iverson to give the Winhawks a commanding 7-1 lead. From there the Winhawks never looked back.
After having dropped three games in a row to tough opponents on Saturday and Monday, the Winhawks have responded with a win over Austin on Tuesday and now a doubleheader sweep over Rochester Mayo. Overall, Halverson likes where his team is at.
“I told the girls when we met after the game, that I really don’t feel a lot different after our games on Saturday then I did on Wednesday,” Halverson said. “We beat Mankato West 5-0 and we executed really well in that game. We beat Northfield and we executed well that game. We didn’t execute quite as well on Saturday. But we are still the same team we just have to execute. Execute on offense, execute on defense, and if we do that we are a very good team.”