The Mankato West softball team bounced back quite nicely from its first loss of the season last Wednesday to Mankato East.
Last Friday, the Scarlets downed Rochester John Marshall 14-1. On Tuesday, the Scarlets faced that same Rockets team at West Field, and the outcome was the same as West won 5-0 behind a 10-strikeout performance from senior pitcher Breanna Black.
“She was really good today,” said West coach Don Krusemark. “Her changeup was working very well. I thought she and (catcher) Hannah Hastings really communicated well.”
Black struck out the side in the second, baffling all three John Marshall batters with at-bat ending changeups.
For Black, it was her first stint on the mound since the loss to the Cougars. It was good for her to get back into a rhythm.
“My changeup was my strikeout pitch today,” said Black. “I just had to try to get into my groove again. East had some clutch hits in that game. I just had to try and prevent that in this game.”
Black prevented the clutch hit on Tuesday scattering four hits as no Rockets’ runner got past second base.
The Scarlets’ bats gave all the runs Black would need in the first inning. Eighth-grader Emily Veroeven led off with a single to left. After advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt, she scored on an RBI single by Lexy Schoper. Hastings brought her home two batters later with an RBI double to left.
Schoper and Hastings were involved again with run-producing hits in the third. Schoper singled through the left side with one out and scored on another RBI double by Hastings. Black followed with an RBI single up the middle to score Hastings and put West on top 4-0.
It’s not new for Hastings to come through with big run-producing hits.