Softball: Royals bounce back with a big win

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Senior center fielder Meagan Bliese ripped a grand-slam home run to highlight an eight-run fourth inning as Woodbury rocked visiting Cretin-Derham Hall Thursday, winning 10-2.

It was a big, bounce-back win for the Royals, who came into the contest following a tough 3-2 season-opening loss to Forest Lake.

"The one thing this team does well is persevere, and they push through adversity," Woodbury assistant coach Rachel Nicholas said. "We made some early mistakes in the game, and the girls pulled together as a team and challenged each other, pushed each other and were able to get the job done.

"They know how to pull it together when they need to," added Nicholas. "That's a sign of the possibilities that are out there for this team."

The Royals trailed 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth, then started hitting everything Cretin threw at them. Bliese delivered the biggest blow.

"It was the pitch I like to hit, it was a little bit inside," Bliese said. "I went up to the plate just looking for a pitch that I knew I could drive, and I got that pitch, and I just took it and hit it hard and went with it.

"It was our first win of the season," added Bliese. "It kind of meant a lot that we were starting to hit and then getting that hit just really felt good to keep us going, get us more runs and just keep hitting the ball hard.

Ashley Mickschl earned the pitching win, striking out four while allowing three hits in five innings. Ally Hjort pitched the sixth and seventh, allowing one hit and striking out two.

Hjort was 2-for-3 at the plate and Jade Boisjoli 2-for-4 for the Royals.

"I think, we had some errors in the field and in the baserunning, but the thing is our mental game has gotten so much stronger, and we picked each other up like they got over it in two seconds," third baseman Ellie Condon said.

Woodbury (1-1, 1-1) plays at White Bear Lake (2-1, 2-1) Monday.