Sophomore pitcher Missy Dieckman-Meyer tossed a six-hit shutout in the season opener as the Forester softball team split a pair of games in the Rochester Regional Stadium and Bubble on Saturday. Lake Forest blanked St. Olaf College 1-0 before falling 10-1 in six innings to Buena Vista University.
Dieckman-Meyer struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk in the opener. It was her third career shutout with two of them coming in season debuts.
The Foresters scored al the runs their pitcher would need in the top of the first inning. Junior centerfielder Maria Zepeda drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a base hit by sophomore catcher Sydney Wyatt, and went to third on a bunt single by junior rightfielder Abby King. A pair of strikeouts put the pressure on junior third baseman Alyssa Grimm, who singled to left to dive in Zepeda with what turned out to be the only run of the contest.
The Oles were poised to tie the score or even take the lead in the bottom of the first after putting runners at second and third with one out. Dieckman-Meyer struck out the next two batters, however, to escape the jam. She also worked her way out of trouble in the third and fifth innings when St. Olaf had leadoff singles and bunted the runner over to second both times. The Forester defense was solid in the contest, starting the season with an error-free game.
Freshman second baseman Hannah Kalnicky had two of Lake Forest's six base hits, including a double, in her collegiate debut.
The Foresters were the home team against Buena Vista, which started the game with a five-run inning.
Zepeda reached home plate again in the opening frame after being hit by a pitch. She stole second and eventually came home when senior shortstop Kat Beall drew a bases-loaded walk.
Unfortunately for the Foresters, that was all the scoring they could muster in the contest. The Beavers added a run in the third inning and two in the fourth and sixth.
Kalnicky and junior pitcher Kyra Lenzi accounted for Lake Forest's two base hits in the game.
St. Olaf is now 3-3 and Buena Vista 2-0.
The Foresters will resume play at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Tournament Sunday afternoon against Luther College at 2:00 and the University of Dubuque at 4:00.