By Jeff Meder
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM – Minnesota Valley Lutheran swept Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 9-2 and 6-5 on Monday in a Tomahawk Conference softball doubleheader.
In the first game, GFW jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Morgan Aylsworth walked and scored on a Charger error. Nicole Duehn’s right-field single scored Maddy Lee for its second run.
MVL answered in the top of the fourth inning on Sam Dalueg’s triple. That brought in Cassie Goeglein and Alyssa Ulrich for a 2-2 tie. Goeglein scored on a Thunderbird error which gave MVL a 3-2 lead.
Morgan Paulsen was hit by a pitch in the top of the fifth. She scored on Grace Rich’s double, which made it 4-2 MVL. Rich scored on a sacrifice by Briley Henderson for a 5-2 MVL lead.
Dalueg belted the lead-off double to the left field in the top of the sixth inning. She scored on Becca Kuck’s double to center field for a 7-2 MVL advantage. Kuck scored on a GFW error, which made it 8-2 MVL. Ashlynn Rodewald reached on a GFW error and she scored on another GFW error to make it 9-2 for MVL.
Kuck earned the win. She struck out 11 batters and walked four. She gave up three hits and two runs.
Kuck went 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and one run scored. Morgan Paulsen had four walks.
For GFW, Aylsworth had two stolen bases and Nicole Duehn had an RBI. Brooklyn Werner and Aylsworth each had one run scored.
“We did a good job of getting runs in today,” MVL head coach Tonya Paulsen said.
She was pleased with the Chargers’ overall performance.
In the second game, the Thunderbirds battled back but fell short by one run.
“I’m proud of what we have,” GFW head coach Olivia Zwaschka said. “We’re still learning, and there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”
In Game 2, Jessica Willegal had four hits and three RBIs. Werner had two hits, one being a triple, and Nicole Duehn also had a triple and two RBIs.
Werner pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief and had six strikeouts. Halle Bleick was the starting pitcher and had a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings.
For MVL in Game 2, Morgan Paulsen was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI to lead the way. Kuck was also 2 for 4, while Goeglein was 2 for 3. MacKenna Dressel had two RBIs for MVL in Game 2.
Kuck took the loss in Game 2, giving up two unearned runs on seven hits and two walks. She struck out seven.