It’s not often the Mankato East and West softball teams combine to score nine runs and collect 20 hits, but when it does happen it makes for an entertaining contest.
Local fans were treated to just that Friday at Thomas Park as senior third baseman Callie Looft’s three-run, sixth-inning home run lifted West to a hard-fought 5-4 Big Nine Conference win over the Cougars.
“It was an entertaining game in that it wasn’t your typical game where there are three of four hits and it’s 1-0,” East coach Joe Madson said. “There were a lot of hits and we probably made a few more defensive miscues which led to a few runs.”
East (0-2) trailed 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh when freshman pitcher Morgan Keim-Wolfe laced a one-hop bullet directly at freshman right fielder Tristin Danay, who fielded the ball and fired a strike to first baseman Krista Goerger to nip the speedy Keim-Wolfe.
The Cougars ended up trimming the deficit to 5-4 behind hits from Torey Richards and Macy Anderson before eighth-grader Lilly Andrego’s liner was caught by Goerger to end things.
“There were two teams out there with a lot of tradition and neither team wanted to lose,” West coach Don Krusemark said. “Both teams know how to win games like this and when you don’t want to lose you find ways to answer.
“Our bats weren’t there yesterday or for the first three innings today. I told the girls the game is a lot more fun when you get a few hits so that’s a positive for us going into our tournament (Saturday).”
West (2-0) scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth when Looft bounced a one-out single through the hole, moved to second base on an infield out and scored on the first of two Cougars’ errors.