SERENA — With a brisk wind at her back blowing in from center field, Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell pitcher Shea Moritz used Mother Nature's gift to full advantage.
The senior right-hander gained some decent velocity on her pitches and saw her screwball and curveball offerings dance to perfection as a result of the gusty conditions in Serena.
The end result for Moritz was an amazing day in the circle where she allowed just five hits and three walks while striking out an awe-inspiring 16 batters as the Warriors downed the Huskers 7-2 Saturday morning here at Serena High School.
Moritz (5-3) recorded 11 of the Huskers first 12 outs via strikeout and then cruised home with five more Ks throughout the final three innings to conclude her remarkable pitching performance.
"I didn't even realize I had that many strikeouts today… and definitely my screwball and my curveball were both biting with the help of the wind," Moritz said. "Their batters kept swinging so I kept throwing those pitches. I can't remember if I've ever had so many strikeouts in a game. This was a very special pitching day for me."
WFC (11-8) also received good offensive performances from junior August Gillman (2-for-3, triple, RBI) and freshman Audrey Jenkins (2-for-4, triple, RBI).
Moritz and senior Kylie Kindermann each added a hit and a run-scoring at bat and the Warriors also took advantage of four Serena errors to plate four unearned runs during the proceedings where Moritz ruled the day.
"She definitely has the stuff to have a game like this and with the wind blowing in she might have gotten better movement on some of her pitches," said WFC coach Jordan Farris. "It was definitely a great effort by her."
"We also capitalized offensively on some mistakes today, we strung a few hits together, ran the bases well, and it was nice to see us get a quality win against a team like Serena."
The Huskers (10-7) received a fine pitching performance of their own from senior Brianna Engel (9-6) who deserved a much better fate, but took the loss after allowing just three earned runs, seven hits, and two walks while striking out 10. Junior Emily Hook (2-for-3, triple) led Serena's effort at the plate and was the only Husker in the lineup that didn't fan while facing Moritz.
"I felt like we let too many strikes go by and when you strikeout 16 times it's awfully hard to win a game," said SHS coach Kelly Baker. "Bri (Engel) did a phenomenal job pitching for us today with 10 strikeouts, but we made too many errors which didn't help her at all. If we bring the team that played so well against teams like Seneca and Ottawa we can battle with anybody. But today unfortunately that wasn't the case."
WFC got on the board in the top of the first with two unearned runs after a critical two-out error by the Huskers. Kindermann delivered an RBI single after the miscue that got the Warriors rolling. Serena countered in the bottom of the frame after Maddi Holdiman led off with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third, and then plated after a wild pitch, on strike three to make the score 2-1. Another Husker error helped the Warriors make the score 4-1 in the fourth. Kindermann walked to lead off the inning and moved to second after a Jasmine Easton sacrifice bunt. Gillman then plated Kindermann with a booming triple to right and tallied on the same play after a throwing error sailed wildly into the infield.
WFC added its fourth unearned run in the top of the fifth to go up 5-1 before Hook blasted a lead off triple to right in the sixth and eventually scored on another wild pitch on strike three that cut the gap to 5-2 after six.
But the Warriors added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh after an RBI triple from Jenkins and a two-out, run plating single from Moritz that closed out the days scoring. Moritz then faced four batters in the bottom of the frame with one final strikeout that helped close out the win and her amazing outing in the circle.
Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell 7, Serena 2
WFC (7) — Kane ss 3-2-1-0, Jenkins 2b 4-2-2-1, Friese 1b 4-0-0-0, Moritz p 4-0-1-1, Schwahn cr 0-1-0-0, Kindermann 3b 3-1-1-1, Easton lf 2-0-0-0, Gillman dp 3-1-2-1, Essman c 2-0-0-0, Plesko ph 1-0-0-0, Walter cf 3-0-0-0, Dunahee rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-7-7-4.
SERENA (2) — M. Holdiman cf 1-1-0-0, Tuftie cf 2-0-0-0, Shannon 2b 4-0-1-0, Harris c 4-0-1-0, Hook 3b 3-1-2-0, M. Staton 1b 2-0-0-0, Kaforski ph 1-0-0-0, Fuchs rf 2-0-0-0, Muffler lf 3-0-1-0, Bannister dp 2-0-0-0, Engel p 1-0-0-0, T. Staton ss 3-0-0-0. Totals 28-2-5-0.
WFC (11-8) 200 210 2 — 7 7 1
Serena (10-7) 100 001 0 — 2 5 4
LOB — WFC 4; Serena 8. 3B — Jenkins, Gillman, Hook. SB — Kane 2, M. Holdiman, Muffler. SAC — Easton.
WFC ip r er h bb k
Moritz (W, 5-3) 7.0 2 2 5 3 16
Engel (L, 9-6) 7.0 7 3 7 2 10