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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

Rensberger tosses 2-hitter, Wilson drives in 2 as Lady Zs top Winamac

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Bria Rensberger

Bria Rensberger might be a cheat code.

The Rochester softball team had lost to Winamac seven consecutive times before they played at Fansler Field Tuesday, but Rensberger, a freshman, solved the Winamac lineup, pitching a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts in her third career game in the circle to lead the Lady Zs to a 3-0 win.

Aubrey Wilson added a two-run single in Rochester’s three-run third, and Brailyn Hunter followed with a sacrifice fly.

Aubrey Miller had two of Rochester’s five hits. Mylee Heinzmann doubled, and Mia Howdeshell singled and scored a run for the Lady Zs.

The win improved Rochester to 2-2. Winamac fell to 1-2.

Rochester had not beaten Winamac since a 10-0 win in five innings on April 12, 2016. Winamac had won six regular season games against the Lady Zs and also beat Rochester in last year’s sectional at Fansler Field.

“For me personally, it means a lot,” Rochester coach Jim Coleman said. “I know that last year’s senior class didn’t experience that, and I know that was one of the things on their list that they wanted to get Winamac, whether it was regular season or postseason, and they went 0-2 against them. Winamac, they’re fundamentally sound. They’re coached really well. They’re not going to beat themselves, so to be able to get Winamac, that’s a sectional opponent, to get them at home, that’s going to go a long way for us.”

Brooke Rausch struck out five but took the loss for the Lady Warriors. Maggie Smith and Corrin Combs each had a single.

Smith led off the top of the fourth with an infield single, and when the throw to attempt to get her at first was wild for an error, Smith reached second. She went to third on another error.

That brought up Makayla Werner, who bunted down the third baseline. Rochester third baseman Gabby Medina charged the bunt, faked a throw to first and then turned around and threw back to shortstop Wilson covering third base, who tagged Smith as she tried to dive back for an out.

“Gabby did that on her own,” Coleman said. “She knew that she didn’t have a play at one (first base) or that it was going to be bang-bang. So it was just heads-up – a freshman third baseman in her fourth game in her career at the high school level to do that on her own just speaks volumes.”

Combs, who had two homers and nine RBIs in two games against Rochester last year, then singled to right to move Werner to second.

Combs’ single turned out to be Winamac’s last baserunner.

Rensberger then struck out Maggie Keller and got Corinne Ulerick on a liner back to the circle to end the inning.

No Winamac player hit the ball out of the infield from then on as Rensberger retired the final 11 batters.

Rensberger said her middle school teams always beat Winamac, but she was made aware how long it had been since the high school team had beaten Winamac.

“Definitely my high-and-inside fastball,” Rensberger said when asked what was working. “Towards the end of the game, my curve ball came alive. With that last strikeout, I got her on a curve ball, kind of choked her. In the middle, the change-up really got some of their big hitters. It wasn’t really working in the beginning but got them in the middle.”

Winamac also had only two hits in a 6-3 loss to South Central (Union Mills) on Saturday.

“I think she has good control, and I think she has some good change of speed,” Winamac coach Jennifer Belcher said of Rensberger. “Our hitters are up at the plate trying to be aggressive. We’ve got some young ones in the order. But yeah, she did a nice job, and hopefully, we’ll learn from some of that. … We’re just trying to work through some things. It’s only game three.”

Howdeshell singled off Rausch to start the third, and she stole second. Darah Strasser – Coleman calls the speedy Strasser, who hits ninth, a “double leadoff” – followed with a walk. Miller’s bunt single loaded the bases. 

Wilson then socked a single to right-center to score Howdeshell and Strasser. Miller overran third but was able to avoid a pickle and get back while Wilson advanced to second.

Hunter then lofted a fly ball to Makayla Werner in center, and Miller beat the throw home to make it 3-0.

Rochester 3, Winamac 0

Winamac 000 000 0 – 0 2 0

Rochester 003 000 X – 3 5 2

WP – Bria Rensberger (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

LP – Brooke Rausch (6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

2B – Mylee Heinzmann (RHS)


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