Milaca rolls past Melrose as Johnson fans 11

Senior pitcher Ashley Johnson fires a pitch against Melrose. She struck out 11 in the victory.

Milaca’s softball team split a pair of non-conference games last week, losing at Pierz 4-3 in nine innings Tuesday, April 24 before topping Melrose 13-3 in five innings Friday at Sod Park in Milaca.
The split moved Milaca’s overall record to 4-3. The Wolves are 3-2 in Granite Ridge Conference play.
“Overall, we played well last week,” said Milaca Coach Randy Johnson. “We’re looking for more consistency.”
Against Melrose, senior right-hander Ashley Johnson pitched a four-hitter, striking out 11 while walking three. Johnson has 92 strikeouts through Milaca’s seven games.
The Wolves took charge against the Dutchmen right away as they scored eight runs in the first inning. A run in the lower half of the fifth inning ended the game by the 10-run rule.
Sophomore catcher Natalie Bernard continued her hot hitting as she went 3-for-3, with a double and three runs-batted-in.
Ninth-grade third baseman Alex Ploeger had two singles while Johnson had a single and two RBIs and senior second baseman Kymee Nelsen, junior shortstop Danyell Keen and sophomore outfielder Jessica Hohnwald each had a single and RBI.
Keen filled in at shortstop for senior Anna Swanson who was out with an injury.
Against Pierz, the Wolves paid a price for leaving 10 runners on base who were in scoring position.
“We just needed one more timely hit,” said coach Johnson.
The Pioneers scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning after Milaca sent the game into extra innings with a run in the top of the seventh inning.
Milaca cracked nine hits, with Bernard collecting three singles and junior outfielder Sara Warren hitting a home run.
Johnson pitched the distance, allowing 11 hits and one walk. She struck out 16.
The Wolves are at Foley today (Thursday) and at Mora Friday. Both games are at 5 o’clock.