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Winona State softball: Warriors open season with doubleheader sweep
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Winona State softball: Warriors open season with doubleheader sweep

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ROCHESTER — It may be a season unlike any other but the Winona State softball team did its part in trying to establish normalcy once again. 

The Warriors scored five runs in the seventh inning to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Mustangs with a 6-2 win in the nightcap that followed a 2-1 victory in game No. 1 Friday afternoon at the RCTC Dome. 

It was the 27th straight victory over SMSU for WSU, which hasn't lost to the Mustangs (4-2) since April 25, 2009. 

In game 2, the Warriors (2-0) entered the top of the seventh trailing 2-1 and their bottom of the order coming up, but three of the first four hitters of the inning connected for doubles. Shortstop Teaghen Amwoza was the one that tied the game with her RBI double before coming around to score after Alison Novak — the 2021 NSIC preseason player of the year — delivered the go-ahead run with an RBI single. 

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Libby Neveau then followed with a two-run single with the bases loaded before Rylee Stout came through with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2. 

Liz Pautz earned the win in circle, allowing two runs on two hits to go along with six strikeouts in six innings. 

In game No. 1, the Warriors surged ahead behind two-run singles from Ann Smolenski and Stout in a four-run second inning. 

That proved to be more than enough run support for Kleman, who earned the win by allowing just one run on six hits with seven strikeouts in a complete game effort. The La Crosse Logan High School graduate also picked up the save in the second game. 

The Warriors are back in action Wed. March 3 when they take on Bemidji State at the West St. Paul Dome.

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