Gallery: NRHEG softball team shuts out USC

Published 7:55 pm Friday, May 2, 2014

Anna Stork of NRHEG hits the ball Friday against United South Central at Wells. NRHEG won 13-0. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Anna Stork of NRHEG hits the ball Friday against United South Central at Wells. NRHEG won 13-0. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

WELLS — Runs came in bunches for the NRHEG softball team Friday at United South Central.

After two scoreless innings, the Panthers found gaps in the outfield to score six runs in the top of the third. They were held scoreless in the fourth and fifth before exploding with seven runs in the sixth to end the game and defeat the Rebels 13-0.

“We’ve definitely been a good hitting team this year,” said NRHEG pitcher Jade Schultz. “Now, we’re coming together, and to see Kayley (Camerer) hit that home run — that was awesome.”

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Camerer was one of seven Panthers who had two or more hits. Aside from her homer, she was 2-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and two runs scored.

NRHEG’s Anna Stork had a team-high three hits. She was 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored. Adding two hits each for the Panthers were Rachel Hagen, Kelli Harrington, Hannah Lundberg, Grace Johns and Alyssa Esplan.

Jade led NRHEG from the pitching circle by striking out a dozen batters and not giving up any earned runs.

“Jade did a nice job pitching, and Hannah played well at catcher,” said NRHEG head coach Wendy Schultz.

Taylor Schultz pitched for USC. She showed improvement in command from the pitching circle by minimizing walks to three through six innings to go with five strikeouts.

“I’ve been working on getting my fastball to the spots where they need to be,” she said. “Our defense is getting better, but there’s always room for improvement.”

Coach Schultz said she saw the Panthers make good decisions at the plate.

“I always tell the girls to be aggressive, but we need to work on being more selective and making their pitcher pitch,” she said. “I think we’re getting a little better with that.”

NRHEG (5-3 overall, 3-1 Gopher Conference) came into the matchup with a winning percentage slightly over .500. However, all three of the Panthers’ losses have been by one run. While the losses have been close, the wins have been by an average of 10.8 runs per game.

The Panthers have a chance to build on Friday’s victory with eight games next week. NRHEG starts by hosting Waterville-Elysian-Morristown at 4 p.m. Monday. The Panthers won the first meeting 8-0 on April 15.

USC (1-8 overall, 0-4 Gopher Conference) has a tough road next week as well. Next, the Rebels host Randolph at 4:30 p.m. Monday. The Rockets (7-2 overall, 4-0 Gopher Conference) hold the No. 1 position in the Gopher Conference standings.

Statistics are in the Scoreboard: May 2 post.