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Softball: NOlivia strikes again for NLS

NEW LONDON - Good luck finding a better pitching performance -- at any level -- than the masterpiece that Olivia Christopherson turned in on Friday. The New London-Spicer pitcher struck out 17 batters and threw her second no-hitter of the year to...

New London-Spicer's Olivia Christoperson delivers a pitch during the West Central Tribune Game of the Week against Morris/Chokio-Alberta. Christopherson threw a no-hitter in a 1-0 win. Jake Schultz / Tribune
New London-Spicer's Olivia Christoperson delivers a pitch during the West Central Tribune Game of the Week against Morris/Chokio-Alberta. Christopherson threw a no-hitter in a 1-0 win. Jake Schultz / Tribune

NEW LONDON - Good luck finding a better pitching performance -- at any level -- than the masterpiece that Olivia Christopherson turned in on Friday.

The New London-Spicer pitcher struck out 17 batters and threw her second no-hitter of the year to outduel Morris/Chokio-Alberta pitcher Brooke Gillespie in a 1-0 win for the Wildcats in the West Central Tribune Game of the Week.

“From us, that was the best pitched game we’ve ever seen,” New London-Spicer head coach Melissa Bergeson said. “I would say she was firing on all cylinders.”

WATCH: Christopherson talks about her no-hitter with WCT Sports

Christopherson didn’t just throw a no-hitter; she was also completely unhittable. The left-hander did not allow any walks and, of her 21 outs recorded, all but four came by punching out Tigers batters.

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“It feels really good against a strong team like that,” Christopherson said. “They have some girls that can really hit, so it was going to be tough. I just had a good feel for all of my pitches.”

Christopherson threw a five-inning no-hitter in a 16-0 win over Redwood Valley, but said Friday’s performance against a section rival that entered the game with a 6-1 record was the sweeter of the two.

“For sure [today’s],” Christopherson said. “It was a whole game no-hitter.”

In addition to flashing one of the area’s most potent fastballs, Christopherson gave the Tigers fits with a heavy mix of screwballs and riseballs. From the early going – when Christopherson first got a feel that the umpire would give her calls up in the zone, a groove was found in the circle.

“When she had to battle, she won them all,” Bergeson said. “Whenever there were full counts, she won the battles. She didn’t get herself into any trouble with long counts and walks. It was a mix of attacking the zone and screwball was working well and rise ball.”

Gillespie worked with a different style, but was just as masterful as her counterpart throughout the afternoon. Despite striking out just one batter, Gillespie carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed one unearned run for the game.

In a game where offense was at a premium, Morris’ defense did its job to keep the game tied until the sixth. Until committing a costly error that led to the game’s lone run, the Tigers were perfect in the field – which proved to be pivotal as the Wildcats were making contact on Gillespie.

In the third inning, with a runner on second and one out, center fielder Piper Gibson made a diving catch to save a run. At third base, Whitney Demaris was peppered with grounders throughout the game and came through for Gillespie each time.

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The one hit New London-Spicer did manage, however, couldn’t have come at a more fortuitous time.

After an error gave New London-Spicer a baserunner in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth, Courtney Hanson laced a double to left field that skipped past the left fielder Nicole Solvie to plate Sam Johnson from first base.

“We were hitting the ball, but they were just making plays,” Bergeson said. . “If we kept hitting it, we would get it through eventually. Sam’s speed was really big in helping her score from first.”

With Christopherson given even the slimmest of margins, the outcome of the seventh inning might as well have been etched in stone before she even threw a pitch.

And, sure enough, three batters and another strikeout later, the Wildcats had a 1-0 victory to improve to 5-3 on the season.

NLS 1, Morris/CA 0

Morris/C-A 000 000 0-0 0 1

NLS 000 001 x-1 1 1

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Hitting - Morris/C-A: None ... New London-Spicer: Courtney Hanson 1-3 rbi, Sam Johnson r, Olivia Christopherson bb

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Morris/C-A: Brookie Gillespie (L) 6-1-1-0-1-1 ... New London-Spicer: Christopherson 7-0-0-0-0-17

Rocori 10, Willmar 1

Willmar ran into a buzzsaw as Rocori, ranked No. 5 in the state by Minnesota-Scores.net's QRF rating, outslugged the Cardinals on Friday in Cold Spring.

Caitlin Heinen hit a home run and Abby Anderson went 2-for-3 with a double as the Spartans scored 10 runs off 15 hits.

Jordyn Swoboda scored the lone run for the Cardinals.

Willmar 001 000 0-1 3 2

Rocori 125 011 x-10 15 0

Hitting - Willmar: Jordyn Swoboda 1-4 2b r, Amanda Zuidema 1-2 rbi, Hannah Johnson 1-2 ... Rocori: Abby Anderson 2-3 2b rbi-2 r-2, Caitlin Heinen 1-3 hr rbi r-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Hannah Johnson (L) 6-15-10-7-2-2 ... Rocori: Megan Gavin (W) 4-3-1-1-4-3, Heinen 3-0-0-0-1-2

Litchfield 17, Paynesville 5

Litchfield came out swinging Friday afternoon and scored 17 runs to take down Paynesville in six innings.

Jasmin Estrada was a tough out, going 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs. Bella Meyer was also successful from the top of the lineup with four RBIs.

Litchfield 121 175-17 14 1

Paynesville 100 040-5 6 5

Hitting - Litchfield: Bella Meyer 2-4 r-3 rbi-3, Kyndra Beavers 1-5 r rbi, Kristin Jones 1-4 r-2 rbi-2, Jasmin Estrada 3-4 hr-2 r-2 rbi-4, Maddie Grates 1-4 r-2, Maddy Larson 2-3 r-3, Sydney Braaten 3-4 r-2 rbi ... Paynesville: Molly Stang 2-3 r rbi-2 2b, Abby Schafer 1-3 rbi, Ashley Eisenbraun 1-3 rbi, Lindy Hennen 1-3 2b, Kylie Everson 1-3 r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Litchfield: Larson (W) 6-6-5-5-3-4 ... Paynesville: Grace Utsch (L) 4.1-9-12-7-2-2, Grace Lange 1.2-3-5-5-4-0

RTR 8, MACCRAY 5

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton came away with a win in the first game of a doubleheader with MACCRAY. The Wolverines held a 5-3 lead in the fourth before the Knights came away with the final five runs of the game. Kirsten Van Der Pol and Sage Mecker each had two hits for the Wolverines.

MACCRAY 100 400 0-5 8 4

RTR 030 230 x-8 9 2

Hitting - MACCRAY: Kirsten Van Der Pol 2-4 2b-2 rbi, Sage Mecker 2-4, Celina Jenkins 1-2, Kate Hultgren 1-4 ... RTR: Mackenzie Buchert 2-4, Cora Alderson 2-4, Kylea Baartman 2-4

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - MACCRAY: K. Hultgren (L) 6.1-9-8-3-3-3, Ellie Hultgren .2-0-0-0-0-0 ... RTR: Baartman (W) 7-8-5-3-0-6

MACCRAY 6, RTR 4

Ellie Hultgren didn't allow any earned runs and MACCRAY held on for a 6-4 win to split the doubleheader with RTR.

Sage Mecker had three hits, including a homer to spark the Wolverines offensive effort.

RTR 000 006 0-4 3 3

MACCRAY 302 100 x-6 8 5

Hitting - RTR: Kylea Baartman 1-3, Mackenzie Buchert 1-3 ...MACCRAY: Sage Mecker 3-4 hr r-2, Kirsten Van Der Pol 2-3 r-2, Jessica Wellnitz 1-3

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - RTR: Baartman (L) 7-8-6-3-0-5 ... MACCRAY: Ellie Hultgren (W) 6-3-4-0-3-8

ACGC 11, Benson 7

Riley Wilner had four hits and drove in five runs in ACGC's victory in a game that featured 33 combined hits and only two errors on Friday in Grove City.

The Falcons' Micayla Hobson had two hits and drove in four runs and Shauna Wehking and Madison Denton both doubled twice.

Benson's Megan Amundson hit two home runs and drove in five runs and Nicole Berens was 4-for-5 and scored a run. Lizzie Staton had two doubles, drove in a run and scored.

The Braves fell to 0-6 overall and in the West Central Conference.

ACGC, now 2-5 in the WCC and 3-6 overall, play two games today in New Germany, facing Mayer Lutheran at 10 a.m. and Maranatha Christian at noon.

Benson 003 030 1-7 17 0

ACGC 102 350 x-11 16 2

Hitting - Benson: Nicole Berens 4-5 2b r, Courtney McNeill 1-4 r, Lizzie Staton 2-3 2b-2 rbi r, Grace Lee 1-3 r, Megan Amundson 2-4 hr-2 rbi-5 r-2, Morgan Tangen 1-3, Mackenzie Kurkosky 1-4, Presley Gonnerman 3-4 r, Danielle Himley 2-4 ... ACGC: Riley Wilner 4-4 2b-2 rbi-5 r-2 sb, Shauna Wehking 3-4 2b-2 r-3 sb, Micayla Hobson 2-4 2b rbi-4 r-2, Madison Denton 2-4 rbi-2, Maree Lee 1-5 r, Miranda Lang 1-3 sb, Sydni Hoffmann 1-3 r, Rachel Wilner 1-2 r-2 sb, Morgan Paulson 1-1

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Benson: Kurkosky (L) 7-16-11-11-2-4 ... ACGC: Taryn Reinke (W) 7-17-7-7-3-4

Related Topics: SOFTBALL
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