The Fillmore Central/Lanesboro softball team probably has as many wins, two, as the number of days they've been outside. The weather has, and will continue to, cause problems already at the beginning of this 2014 season, ala 2013.

Last Thursday the team did get a pair of games in against Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland (GMLOK), and came away with a pair of wins, 2-1 and 9-3.

Game 1...

"This game was a real pitcher's duel, with Morgan Malley (FCL) and Alayna Meskill (GMLOK) pitching outstanding ball," said coach Tris Tollefson. "We scratched out two runs with Morgan, Taylor Sprenger and Tayah Barnes getting big hits."

The Lady Falcons got their first run in the fourth inning on a double by Malley and a GMLOK error, tying the game at 1-1. In the first three innings, FCL only had one base runner, a walk to Tayah Barnes in the third inning. The gals scored the winning run in the fifth inning on a two-out single by Barnes and an RBI single from Taylor Sprenger.

"We got key hits from Malley, Barnes and Sprenger," added Tollefson.

Sprenger and Steph Erickson had runs-batted-in for the Falcons. Stolen bases were recorded for Sprenger, Barnes and Erickson.

Malley pitched the entire game for FCL, striking out 15 in the seven innings of work. She gave up four hits and one earned run, and gave up no walks.

GMLOK 0-0-0-1-0-0-0 = 1-4-2, LOB 3

FCL 0-0-0-1-1-0-x = 2-3-0, LOB 4

Game 2...

"We got off to a great start in game two," said Tollefson, "scoring nine runs in the first five innings."

Erickson pitched the first three innings for Fillmore Central/Lanesboro, giving up four hits, two runs (one earned), three walks, while striking out two. Malley pitched the final four innings, allowing one run (earned), two hits and two walks, in picking up her second win of the day, and the season. Malley struck out seven in her four innings of relief.

Taylor Sprenger and Haley Polin had two hits each in the win. Coming up with solo hits were Malley, Erickson, Shelby Ebner and Barnes. Seven runs-batted-in were credited to FCL: Sprenger, Malley, Erickson, Kaitlynn Aug, Ebner and Barnes (2). Scoring two runs each were Malley and Polin. Sprenger, Megan Hendrickson, Erickson, Ebner and Barnes each crossed the plate once.

Each team had five errors in game two.

FCL 2-1-2-0-4-0-0 = 9-8-5, LOB 5

GMLOK 1-1-0-0-0-0-1 = 3-6-5, LOB 13

Next scheduled game for the Lady Falcons is Thursday, April 17, at Cotter in Winona. The game with Dover-Eyota has been rescheduled for May 12, and the tournament in Rushford-Peterson has been cancelled.

Softball preview

While the softball season is underway, we'd still like to preview the upcoming season. The Fillmore Central/Lanesboro softball team will return seven letter winners this spring: Morgan Malley (jr., P/OF), Steph Erickson (jr., P/SS), Kaitlynn Aug (jr., 1B), Taylor Sprenger (so.,OF), Shelby Ebner (so., C), Gabby Brazee (so., 3B) and Megan Hendrickson (so., 2B/OF). Newcomers to this year's varsity team, include Kayla Leiding (jr., 2B/OF), Haely Leiding (jr., OF), Tayah Barnes (fr., OF), Cami Jones (jr., OF), Haley Polin (fr., OF/IF), Maggie Haugstad (jr., 3B), Caitlyn Walsh (so., P) and Alleigh Meyer (8, OF).

"We're excited about this year's team," said coach Tris Tollefson. "We have some unknowns, but like what we see so far this season. "We should be contending for a conference title," said Tollefson. "We need some of our players to take a big step forward this season.

"Our pitching should be very good," added Tollefson. Both Malley and Erickson have several years of experience "in the circle." Tollefson sees "inexperience" at a few positions as the team's biggest weakness, but the team has some good athletes with a lot of enthusiasm, that seem "ready to shine."

Conference favorites: Chatfield, Spring Grove/Caledonia and Wabasha-Kellogg. Last year the Falcons were 12-3 in conference play and 13-4, overall, and lost in the first round of tournament play to eventual sub-section champion Lewiston-Altura.