New Life Academy softball: Eagles record goes to 5-4Last week brought a mixed bag of results for the New Life Academy softball team. The four-time defending state champion Eagles had a busy week with seven games in five days.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
Last week brought a mixed bag of results for the New Life Academy softball team. The four-time defending state champion Eagles had a busy week with seven games in five days.
NLA head coach Mick Ramey praised the coaching staff for a great job on getting the young Eagles prepared for a tough week of games.
After starting out with a 5-1 record, NLA now is 5-4 with three straight losses.
“Still a lot of mistakes, but typical for a such young team” said Ramey. “We will be working hard to shore up our overall play and make some steady improvements up to the section play in mid-May. It is not how you start out, it’s how you finish.”
In a week of streaks, NLA compiled four consecutive wins then three consecutive losses. The week started well with three wins in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association conference and an impressive 4-1 victory over Class AAA squad St. Paul Como Park. Pitchers Valerie Hohol (three wins) and Amanda Heidmann (one win) both had impressive outings from the pitching circle during the four-win stretch.
The Eagles’ 22-3 win over PACT charter school was paced with four hits from Heidmann, a sophomore infielder/pitcher, and three hits each from junior Nicole Johnson and Hohol, a freshman, and Malorie Giere. Against St. Paul Como Park, hits were not nearly as easy to come by, but two doubles by Giere and Hohol’s impressive seven-inning, one-run performance on the rubber helped give the Eagles enough punch to win. On Thursday, the 10-9 nail-biter over West Lutheran was led by three hits each from Heidmann and Chloe Westlund. Friday, the Eagles traveled across town to Chaska to face Southwest Christian and secured a 10-2 victory over their conference rival. Heidmann picked up her first win of the season, and the offensive assault was led by three hits from the hot bat of Westlund and two hits from Giere.
On Saturday, however, things turned 180 degrees. The Eagles faced a tough challenge versus three top-ranked schools in cold and damp conditions for their first tournament of the year in Zumbrota.
In game No. 1, a 14-8 loss to host Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Nicole Johnson had her first varsity home run with a solo shot in the third inning. Sydney Steel had a key RBI single to tie the score at 6-6 and Kayla Binsfeld had a bases clearing double for 3 RBI and turned a nifty tag-4-3 double play for the Eagles, but NLA couldn’t keep Zumbrota-Mazeppa from rounding the bases.
In game No. 2, NLA lost 7-3 to Visitation. Heidman had a double and a triple along with an RBI and Giere also had two hits — a single and double — and Hohol had three singles in the loss.
In the third game of the tourney, NLA fell 17-7 to Leweston-Altura. Morgan Frazier got on base twice with a walk and a double, Marta Lehn had her first varsity hit, with a single, an RBI and a threw out a runner to prevent a stolen base as the catcher. In the game, the Eagles came back to a within 9-6 with a nice hit from Stacia Butwin in the fifth inning, but that was as close as NLA would get, as Leweston-Altura scored eight runs over the next two innings.
NLA has four more games this week and a tournament at North St Paul on Saturday with games at 10 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.