by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Except for blowing a nine-run lead and losing the last of their four games, the Zimmerman Thunder had a pretty good softball weekend at home.
The Thunder (7-3) beat Milaca 7-6 in a conference game Friday, then rolled past Concordia Academy 9-1 and Cherry 7-1 in their own four-team round-robin on Saturday.
The Thunder led Annandale 13-4 but couldn’t hang on, losing 15-14 in nine innings. They still got the tournament trophy. Annandale lost its other two games. Concordia and Zimmerman were 2-1 and the Thunder beat them.
“It was a long day but real good for us,” coach Emily Zahn reflected. “It was a chance to come together as a team. We had a ton of at-bats and lots of repetitions. The day didn’t end on the best note, but we still won the tournament.”
Gabby Antolak banged out 12 hits in 15 at-bats in the four games, including a pair of two-run homers Saturday, scoring nine runs and driving home six. The senior catcher was 9-for-9 the last two games of the tournament.
The Thunder will host St. Cloud Cathedral in a double header Tuesday.
Thunder 7, Milaca 6
Carlie Lage went 4-for-4 and knocked in the game-winner with a squeeze bunt. Antolak and Maddie Jacob were each 2-for-4.
Jacob scored the winning run in the last of the seventh as she singled, moved to second on Savannah Olson’s single, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Lage’s suicide squeeze.
McKenna Butau pitched the last four innings (two runs, four strikeouts) and got the win. Ashley Pool pitched three innings (four runs).
Thunder 9, Concordia 1
Kayla Peterson, freshman first baseman, belted a two-run homer, the team’s first round-tripper of the season. Lage was 2-for-3 with three runs and Olson 2-for-2 plus a sacrifice.
Butau pitched four innings to get the win and Pool finished. They combined on a six-hitter with eight strikeouts.
Thunder 7, Cherry 1
Antolak was 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI. Kayla Christopherson delivered a two-run double got the Thunder offense started. Maddie Roisum was 2-for-2 with two runs, plus a walk and sacrifice.
Butau pitched the distance, allowing just four hits and a walk, striking out eight.
Annandale 15, Thunder 14
The Thunder led 7-0 and 13-4, getting two-run homers from Antolak and Olson, before their shaky infield defense and some relentless Annandale hitting turned the game around.
Annandale had two homers, including a grand slam by Ashley Jansen for their first four runs. Taking the loss was Butau, who relieved Poole during a seven-run fifth inning that pulled Annandale within 13-11. With international rules in effect (runner on second to start the inning), Annandale won in the ninth.
Antolak was 5-for-5 and Maddie Roisum 4-for-4, each scoring three runs. Lage was 3-for-6 and Olson 2-for-3 with the homer and three sac bunts. Kayla Trisko beat out two bunts for singles.