Devils Lake softball picks up a 14-4 win against Turtle Mountain

Sam Herder
Journal Photo/Sam Herder 
Krista Waldo scoops up a ground ball and makes a throw to Jenna Windjue in Thursday's game against Turtle Mountain Community High School.

By Sam Herder

Journal Sports Editor

The first inning between Devils Lake and Turtle Mountain Community High School softball looked like it was going to be a battle of the bats.

The Bravettes began the game scoring four runs. DL responded with five.

But Firebird pitchers Hannah Pesek and Olivia Light took control from there, only allowing one more hit as DL continued to tack on runs in the 14-4 win in six innings.

“They came out and scored four runs in the first and showed they could put up some runs on us,” Firebirds head coach Patrick Neumann said. “After that, we settled in and really pitched well today. We had discipline at the plate, took walks and got hits when they threw strikes. We ran the bases well and it was just a complete game.”

After allowing four runs in the first inning, some due to errors, Pesek retired the next nine batters in quick fashion.

Light came in to pitch in the fifth inning with a 13-4 lead. She retired the side in the fifth, and after giving up a single to start the sixth, delivered three straight outs.

In all, the TMCHS totaled just four hits.

“She really had command tonight and her drop ball, we noticed in the dugout that her drop ball was dropping to the point it was tough to control,” Neumann said on Pesek. “She was locating her pitches very well.”

Meanwhile, the Firebirds spread out 10 hits and scored in every inning but one.

In the first inning, Alex Palmer and Krista Waldo picked up RBIs while Waldo and Alysha Moser scored on wild pitches. A Light grounder scored Cassidy Saari and another wild pitch saw Palmer cross the plate in the second.

The Firebirds built an 8-4 lead after the third inning when Abbey Olson’s sacrifice hit scored Pesek.

“We got confidence at the plate,” Neumann said. “Hits are contagious. Once you get them, you really start piling them up. They just relaxed at the plate and did what they needed to do. They really saw the ball well.”

DL’s damage on the scoreboard continued in the fourth inning.

With Waldo up to bat, Saari took advantage of a wild pitch and scored. Waldo then knocked in Palmer.

Light also scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat. Two singles in a row by Pesek and Windjue scored runs and the Firebirds had a 13-4 lead.

After not scoring in the fifth inning, DL put an end to the game quickly in the sixth. Waldo got on with a single and Moser sent her home with another single to enforce the 10-run rule.

Saari, Palmer and Waldo each had two hits. Every DL batter got on base at least once.

The victory is the second of the season for DL. The Firebirds have a few more games to continue improving before the Eastern Dakota Conference Tournament that begins May 26.

“We’re starting to peak at the right time of the year,” Neumann said. “We played well off and on at the beginning of the season. We just didn’t put seven innings together those first 10 games. Hopefully we can get a couple more wins at the end of season and see if we can do something at EDC.”