Women’s softball hit the road again on Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15, playing four games in the two-day Kelly Laas Memorial Tournament in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Red Raiders dropped both games on Friday, Feb. 14 to NCAA Division II opponents but bounced back with two solid victories the following day to improve their record to 4-2 on the young season.
The Raiders struggled early, falling 8-0 to host St. Cloud State managing just two baserunners. The second game of the afternoon was a closer matchup as Northwestern held a 4-2 lead after four innings but eventually fell to Bemidji State by a score of 9-4. Sophomores Bri Giordano, Jordyn Kramer and Emily Strasser all led the team with two hits on the day.
On Saturday Feb. 15, the Raiders turned the page and finished out the tournament with two strong wins.
The pitcher-catcher duo of juniors Samantha Ubben and Emily Bosch led the way in Saturday’s opener against the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Ubben picked up her second win of the season, this one coming in complete game fashion, tacking on eight strikeouts while allowing just three runs. Bosch had a team-high seven putouts and got the bats started for NW as well, with a game-high three hits and one RBI as NW won 7-3.
The women continued their success into the final game of the day versus Viterbo, downing the V-hawks 6-2. Junior Emma Schnell claimed the win from the mound and added an RBI triple, part of a decisive three-run fourth inning. Sophomore Jennifer Boeve had a team-high two hits, and Strasser had one hit and took an HBP to go along with two RBIs.
Looking ahead for what figures to be an exciting and successful softball season for the Red Raiders this year, Bri Giordano shared some areas of focus the team will be carrying with them.
“Attitude, effort, hustle, tough[ness] and defense,” Giordano said, referencing the five key words the team strives for. “Those are the main focuses of every practice, every game and everything we do as a team. If we can achieve those five things in a game, then we have a good likelihood of winning.”
She also noted the importance of that mindset off the field as well, as smiling through errors and getting up after getting knocked down are important in life as well as the sport.
“It’s a fun environment when everyone is willing to do stuff for their teammates” Giordano said.
The Raiders play Bellvue this Saturday, Feb. 22 in their final tune-up before a week of games in Tuscon, Arizona over spring break.