The Winona State University softball team finished off a historic season on Sunday with an 8-0, 12-1 doubleheader sweep over Minot State in a pair of shortened games at Maynard R. Johnson Field.
The Warriors, ranked seventh in NCAA Division II, ran their win streak to 30 games and completed the first 30-0 NSIC season in history. They became the 10th team to finish an NSIC season unbeaten, but the first to do so in the current 30-game format. The first win secured an outright NSIC championship for WSU (45-5, 30-0), and the second put their stamp in the history books.
Junior pitcher Jordyn Kleman (24-1) continued her stellar campaign in the opener, allowing just three hits, and escaping a jam in the second inning to keep Minot State (26-21, 15-15) off the scoreboard. She struck out five, walked none, and retired the final seven batters she faced.
Ann Smolenski went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, while Lani Van Zyl and Alison Nowak each homered.
The Warriors exploded for nine runs in the fourth inning of Game 2 to get its game-ending lead.
After allowing two hits and a wild pitch in the first inning to give up a run, Liz Pautz (17-2) settled in and didn’t allow a runner past second from there. She had six strikeouts, and Katie Schlegel pitched a perfect fifth inning to end the game.
Five players had multiple hits for WSU, including a homer from Kristina Ahlers and two from Ann Smolenski. Smolenski’s grand slam kicked off the scoring in the fourth inning, and she finished with five RBI. The Warriors had five doubles as well.
WSU will be the top seed in the NSIC tournament, which begins Thursday, May 2.