by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
A five-inning shutout by Anna Pipenhagen and bases-loaded home run by Dani Edwards were the highlights as Elk River enjoyed a breakout game Wednesday, beating the Andover Huskies 14-0 at home.
“We have been working really hard and missing by one run each game, and we really needed a game like this to happen,” said coach Stacy Sheetz.
Pipenhagen gave up five hits and no walks, striking out two, against a team with a 4-2 record coming in.
Edwards jacked her grand slam over the left-field fence in the third inning. She finished 2-for-3 with five RBI.
Austyn Beese was 2-for-4 with a two-run double and four RBI. Jess Neuman was 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs.
The Elks’ 16-hit attack against Brianna Davis and Maddie Bittner also included Jayne Langebehn at 2-for-3 (RBI, double), Bethani Athey 1-for-3 (two runs), Michaela Bruns 2-for-3 (double, two runs), Ali Krohn 2-for-3 (RBI, two runs) and Pipenhagen 1-for-3 (RBI, two runs).
Paige Dale was 2-for-3 for the Huskies.
The Elks made just one error, correcting for one day anyway a big problem. They had 22 errors in seven games previously.
“Our defense has been down all year. This is the best game we’ve had in the field,” said Sheetz.
It was a relief play a game that wasn’t close, as the Elks have had six one-run games and lost four of them.
The Elks, now 3-5 overall and 2-4 in conference, will play at Maple Grove on Thursday.
After eight games, batting leaders are Beese at .419, Neuman .414, Langebehn .348 and Athey .333. Edwards leads with six RBI and Beese with 10 runs.
Pipenhagen, a sophomore, has settled in as the primary pitcher, with a 2.38 ERA in 47 innings, and only one really bad outing, in her debut.
“Anna is really focused. If things start going downhill, she keeps up her focus,” said Sheetz. “We are looking forward to three good years from her.”