Belle Plaine vs.

Tri-City United

5 p.m., Thursday, May 6

After losing its first six games this spring, Tri-City United (4-6, 3-5) has won four in a row and is climbing the Minnesota River Conference standings.

Don't blame the Titans' slow start on their bats. Ellaina Novak is among the state's leaders in hits, home runs and RBIs, and teammates Brooke Blaschko and Molly Closser add more power and speed to the lineup.

Novak, a junior pitcher and infielder, has 19 hits in 33 at-bats with three doubles, four home runs and 24 RBIs. She has struck out just three times and has four stolen bases.

Novak is also the Titans' primary pitcher. She was in the circle for each game during the four-game win streak and has lowered her ERA to 3.78 this season. She has struck out 39 batters in 46 1/3 innings. 

Blaschko, a senior catcher and infielder, has 12 hits, two doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and nine stolen bases. Closser, a junior pitcher and infielder, has 14 hits, nine RBIs and 10 walks. She also has nine stolen bases.

Belle Plaine (5-1, 3-1) has a senior-dominated lineup led by catcher Lauren Johnson and pitcher Cecelia Giesen. Senior second baseman Rebecca Brueggemeier had the Tigers' highest batting average in 2019.