by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Nobody seemed to be aware of it, but two Elk River pitchers fired a no-hitter on Thursday as the Elks defeated Coon Rapids 4-0 in the home opener.
Freshman Courtney Jensen threw five no-hit innings in her first start, walking three and striking out two. The Elks’ usual pitcher, senior Moriah Bruns, pitched the final two with two strikeouts, no walks and no hits.
When the local scribe looked through the scoresheet and found no hits, he asked, “So, this was a no-hitter?” Coach Stacey Schroenrock and assistant McKayla Kroll seemed surprised, and indicated that nobody had noticed.
Schroenrock said that their regular scorekeeper, the mom of a former player, was absent or she probably would have said something.
It was an impressive combined effort against a team that had won its first two games 5-4 over Anoka and 4-3 over Park Center.
Bruns also whacked a two-run double in the sixth inning, a line drive over the left fielder, that expanded a 2-0 lead to 4-0 against Cardinal righthander Allie Hable. Jensen, normally the team’s first baseman, squeeze-bunted home a run in the first inning.
The Elks had six hits. Kaytlin Opsal was 1-for-1 plus a walk, hit-by-pitch, three stolen bases and one run. Kayti Hanson, Kaitlyn Roche and Bethani Athey were all 1-for-3 and Hanson scored twice.
The Elks (3-1) will play at the Richfield tournament on Saturday.
An open chair
There was an open chair in the front row of the bleachers with four carnations in it — in honor of longtime fan Loretta Moos, who passed away recently, alongside the chairs occupied by her sister Fae and their close friend Glen Moorlead. The three elderly ladies have attended countless Elk softball, girls basketball and wrestling events together for many years. Sandy Hanson, Katyi’s mom, saw to it that Loretta’s passing was mourned in the team’s first home game. Each of the ladies has a chair with their name and No. 1 fan inscribed.