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PREP SOFTBALL: Grand Forks Sacred Heart defeats visiting Roseau 9-2

East Grand Forks Sacred Heart's Marina O'Leary connects to drive in a run Tuesday as the Eagles beat Roseau 9-1 at East Grand Forks. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

For pitchers, strong winds can make throwing strikes a tough task. 

But the strong winds didn’t stop East Grand Forks Sacred Heart pitcher Hannah Reimer from hitting the strike zone Tuesday.

Reimer finished with nine strikeouts in seven innings and also drove in two runs as the Eagles defeated visiting Roseau 9-2. 

 “It’s a little tough when it’s windy,” said Reimer. “But it helps when the defense is behind you to make the plays when you’re not hitting your spots.”

Along with defense, scoring runs early can boost a pitcher’s confidence. Reimer got that support, as the Eagles jumped to a 9-0 lead after three innings, scoring three runs in the first and six in the third.

The explosive third inning started when Marina O’Leary singled to drive home one run, followed by a bases loaded walk to score Erin Hylden.

The Eagles received two more runs off consecutive passed balls, then Reimer doubled to bring in two and make the score 9-0.

Sacred Heart coach Mike Marek said the early hitting was encouraging.   

“I think we hit the ball with authority today,” said Marek. “I’m liking the way we are aggressively hitting the ball hard. Defensively, we did OK. That’s been our Achilles heel… they didn’t get many balls in play.”

Marek also noted that leads are usually safe with Reimer on the mound.

“She’s been consistently keeping us in the game,” Marek said. “If we get two, three or four runs we are pretty confident with our lead.”

Following the third inning, the Eagles cruised, highlighted by Reimer striking out the side in the fourth inning.

“It’s nice to have your teammates back you up,” said Reimer. “Just to know that if you’re not hitting your spots and they’re getting hits that they’re going to be there to have your back.”

Sacred Heart finished with a season-high 22 hits.