|Emily Berdan grand slam homer (photo by J. Lindquist)|
"The old saying in softball is 'walks kill' and that's what happened today," coach Paul Harrington said. "We walked five times in the first two innings and four of them scored.
"We were very selective at the plate and we took advantage of the walks. We will take what they give us".
The winners scored all they would need in the first inning on walks to Carly Esselman and Taylor Yousse and a two-run single by Amber Doyle.
The lead swelled to 6-0 in the second on walks to Jordyn Keprios and Doyle, a single by Esselman and a grand slam home run by Emily Berdan.
"The grand slam by Emily took the wind right out of their sails," Harrington said. "Other timely hits by Amber in the first inning and Carly in the third inning accounted for eight of our runs.
"Timely hitting is a huge key to success. We need kids to keep stepping up and getting those big hits when we have runners in scoring position."
A walk to Ashley Ibinger, another Northfield error and Esselman's two-run double extended the run-fest in the third and then a combination of three hits, three walks and four errors produced five more scores in the fourth and fifth innings.
Esselman went a perfect 3-3 at the plate with a double, two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Berdan finished 2-4 with her grand slam and also scored twice. Ibinger was 2-3 with a one run scored and another driven in.
Meghan Silber pitched all five innings in her first varsity start, allowing just two hits and striking out six to pick up the win.
The level of competition starts to pick up over the next couple of days with New Prague and Chanhassen coming to town on Wednesday and Thursday. Game time for both Missota Conference games is 4:30 at Tiger Field.