By Joey Hudson
The Northfield Raiders softball team hosted the Owatonna Huskies in a double header on Thursday May 11th. Senior Courtney Graff was on the mound for the first game of the night for the Raiders and struck out eight. Owatonna bats were hit right out the gate in the first game. They started off with a bases clearing three run triple from Huskies third baseman Zoie Roush who then scored on an error, giving the huskies a 4-0 lead. The Raiders got one hit in the bottom of the first from senior third baseman Lindsey Stanton, but were unable to score after junior Owatonna pitcher Kennedy Hodgman struck out the next batter to end the inning. In the top of the second Owatonna scored again when Samantha Bogden knocked in Katelyn Bentz on a single to right field, raising the Huskies lead to 5-0.
In the bottom of the third with one out Courtney Graff smoked a ball into left center field off the wall for a double, but they were unable to capitalize, when Hodgman struck out the next batter to end the inning. Owatonna scored four more in the top of the fifth after an error and two walks loaded up the bases. Owatonna right fielder Mehsa Krause came up with one out and the bases loaded and took a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left center for a grand slam. The Raiders were finally able to score their first run of the game when Megan Snyder reached on error and Courtney Graff brought her home on a triple to right field.
The Raiders entered the bottom of the sixth down 9-1 when junior second baseman Leah Enedy ripped a ball over the center fielder’s head for a two out double, but again, the Raiders were unable to score when, yet again, Hodgman struck out the next batter to end the inning. Owatonna added yet another three runs to their total in the top of the seventh scoring two on a double from Katelyn Bentz and another when Bentz scored on a Zoie Roush single. The Raiders were down 12-1 entering the bottom of the seventh and were set down 1-2-3 by Hodgman with a pop out, a strikeout, and a ground out.
The Raiders took a 12-1 loss in the first game but it wasn’t without its bright spots, senior Courtney Graff had a double, triple, and the Raiders only RBI in the game. The Raiders ended the first game with one run in five hits and two Huskies errors. Owatonna scored twelve on twelve hits and two Raiders errors. Kennedy Hodgman pitched the whole game for the Huskies, only allowing one unearned run on five hits allowed and four strikeouts, all coming in clutch situations. Owatonna hitters spread the hits out pretty evenly with three hitters with a multi hit game and four with a one hit on the game.
Raiders split double header with 3-0 win
After the 12-1 loss in the first game the Raiders bounced back against the Owatonna Huskies in the second game. Senior Rylee Blandin was pitching for the Raiders in the second game hurling a shutout against the Huskies. Blandin walked two in the top of the first but came out of the inning unscaved. Owatonna got one hit off Blandin in the top of the second with two outs, but Blandin came back with a strikeout of the next batter. The Raiders got on the board in the bottom of the third after getting runners on first and second with two outs after hits from senior outfielders Ruby Holman and Megan Snyder. Holman was brought around to score when senior third baseman Lindsey Stanton ripped a single to left field.
In the top of the fifth the Huskies got another hit when Averie Roush got a two out single, but the inning ended on a groundout to Lindsey Stanton. The Raiders bats scored two more runs in the bottom of the inning, starting off with Megan Snyder getting a hit on a fly ball to left field. She came around to score after Courtney Graff hit a double, and the right fielder committed a throwing error, as Graff went to third when the ball went out of play. Graff scored on a heads up sac bunt by senior shortstop Lucy Menssen.
The Huskies led off the top of the sixth with a fly ball single from Kendra Bogen to center field. The half of the inning ended with three straight fly outs to center, right, and left in that order. Emily Broden led off the bottom of the sixth for the Raiders with a single with Rita Langford courtesy running for the catcher. The Raiders were unable to capitalize on the lead off hit and took a 3-0 lead into the top of the seventh. Rylee Blandin went into the top of the seventh having only allowed three hits and three walks with two strikeouts through the first six innings. Taya Selbrade led off the inning for the Huskies and grounded out to Blandin. Paiton Glynn was second up and hit a fly ball to the right of left fielder Megan Snyder who caught it for the second out of the inning. Danika Ringhofer came up to try to prolong the game but popped up a 0-1 pitch behind third base where shortstop Lucy Menssen caught it to end the game.
The Raiders took a 3-0 win to split the double header against Owatonna. The Raiders play next Friday May 12th for their strikeout cancer night, which may or may not have happened by the time this recap comes out. We will be streaming the double header against Mound Westonka on northfieldlive.com. The weather report seems like it’ll be good for the rescheduled games so there shouldn’t be any changes but just in case keep up with us on the calendar on our website and @northfieldlive on most social medias.