Rebels continue their push towards improvement after big win over LP

Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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The Southland softball team is in the midst of its best start in decades, but the Rebels are still focusing on the mechanics of hitting, pitching and fielding and they’re not looking ahead, even after scoring nine first inning runs in an 18-0 win in four innings over Lyle-Pacelli in Todd Park Tuesday.

Southland freshman Juliette Matheis crushed a three-run homer to center field in the big inning for Southland (12-1 overall), but she wasn’t letting it get to her head. It was the second homer of the year for Matheis, who credits the work in practice for her increased power.

“I’ve been fixing my mechanics and I approach each game as a new game and I don’t think of it as good or bad,” Matheis said.

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Southland is currently using four eighth graders in its regular lineup, including starting pitcher Laney Weis, who struck out 12 on Tuesday. The Rebels are young, but head coach Tom Clements hasn’t slowed things down for them.

“We’re an extremely young team, but the younger players are really stepping up to the occasion. They’re accepting their roles and we’re really coming together as a team,” Clements said. “That’s critical to having any sort of access. This team can go a long way, it’s really up to them how far we end up going.”

Southland had its best season in a decade last year, but the Rebels are already on pace to have a better season this spring. Senior Bria Nelsen said it’s been a fun year, but she knows there is still work to do.

“I wasn’t necessarily expecting this,” Nelsen said. “I haven’t really been on a team that’s been this successful. It’s been really fun and exciting. We’re a good team, but there’s a lot that we’re still working on and Tom is still building us and making us better.”

Clements said he is going to continue to teach the game to his players, no matter what their record is.

“My parents taught me a long, long time ago to try and learn something every day,” he said. “I try to stress that to my players, because that’s the only way you end up getting better.”

Avari Drennan struck out eight in the loss for LP (1-7 overall) and Mackenzie Schaefer had a double.

Southland 9 6 1 2  –  18  13  0

Lyle-Pacelli 0 0 0 0  –   0   2    8

Southland pitching: Laney Weis (W) 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 12 K, 1 HBP

Southland hitting: Riana Ulven, 0-for-1, 3 R, 2 BBs; Laney Weis, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, R; Bria Nelsen, 2-for-4, RBI, R, 2 SB; Haylee Lowe, 1-for-3, RBI, 2 R, SB; Clara Timm, 3-for-3, 2 RBIs; Abby Sorgatz, 2-for-3, 2 R; Juliette Matheis, 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBIs, R; Grace Kresbach, 1-for-3, 2 R; Jade Sorenson, 1-for-4, R, SB, RBI; Julia Kiefer, 0-for-1, 3 SB, BB, R; Shannon Kiefer, 2 R, 2 SB; Ella Mensink, 0-for-1; Mya Wagner, 0-for-1, R; Kiley Koenigs, 1-for-1, RBI

LP pitching: Avari Drennan (L) 4 IP, 13 H, 3 BB, 18 R, 8 K

LP hitting: Autumn Drennan, 0-for-1, BB; Samantha Schrom, 1-for-2; Lillie Gardner, 0-for-1, BP; Avari Drennan, 0-for-2; Mackenzie Schaefer, 1-for-2, double; Elizabeth Widle, 0-for-2; Katilyn McMahon, 0-for-2; Kylee Diggins, 0-for-1; Grace Bauer, 0-for-1