Female Area Athlete of the Week: Zimmerman powers Little Falls to 2 wins
Little Falls senior gets area athlete of the week
It was Ellia Zimmerman’s first home run of her varsity career.
The Little Falls senior ripped three doubles to go along with her home run in a 15-14 win over Zimmerman in Game Two of a doubleheader.
She followed it with a 2-for-3 game where she scored two runs in the Flyers 11-10 win over Sauk Rapids.
“I feel like I’ve really been hitting right,” Zimmerman said. “It’s been something I’ve been trying to do and I’ve worked on in the offseason a lot. Coming up this season, I was hoping to get a lot of good hits at the plate and it came forward for me last week.”
In the young season, Zimmerman is the leading hitter for Little Falls with a .412 average with four doubles, a home run and nine RBIs.
“I think she’s just explosive up there,” Little Falls head coach Tony Couture said. “She has a good eye up there. She hits the ball hard and she has a better feel for the plate at where the strike zone is. She rarely swings at bad pitches. I think she’s changed her stance a little bit from last year to be a better hitter.”
Zimmerman had hit home runs at lower levels, but the four-bagger she ripped against Zimmerman was the first of her varsity career.
“I was smiling the rest of the night even on the ride home from the game,” she said.
She’s also the catcher and said she’s been catching the Flyers’ top starter Avery Anderson since they were in the sixth grade.
“Our chemistry is really, really good,” Zimmerman said. “We have our own rhythm. Like I can tell when she’s struggling and I can tell when she is going really well and we can throw that changeup more.”
Couture said she’s improved her defense behind the plate.
“She throws runners out and she’s improved her blocking as well on balls in the dirt and framing,” he said. “She is one of the girls that we expect to be a leader this year and she hasn’t let us down in that department either.”
Little Falls is coming off a 2021 campaign which saw them only win four games. The Flyers look improved already in 2022, with wins over conference opponent Zimmerman and Section 8-3A foe Sauk Rapids — both teams they lost to last year.
“Zimmerman is a girl we expect to be a quarterback out there for us as a catcher,” Couture said. “She is a senior and has been a starter for two years already for us there as a catcher. She wants to be that leader that people look up to.”
At the plate, Zimmerman’s approach is to try and take a strike unless it’s a pitch she knows she can hit.
“If it’s a pitch right down the middle I’m going to swing at it,” she said.
After her 4-5 day with four extra-base hits game, Zimmerman’s confidence shot up as well as her position in the batting order.
“Going into the next game I was put as the fourth batter and that pumped me up a bit,” she said.
Couture said he tries to bat her third or fourth in the order.
“Usually our first couple batters get on, so we like it when she has at bats with girls on base,” he said.
Zimmerman said the Flyers have good chemistry which makes it fun. She plans to attend Bemidji State University in the fall.
“I wanted to be a leader for my team and have some fun in my last season,” she said. “Take all the memories when I can.”
Other notable performances:
Golf: Tiffany Virnig, Pierz, was the medalist at Pierz Golf Course
Softball: Brenna Dickmann, Pierz, went 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and four RBIs against St. Cloud Cathedral.
Korrin Gwost, Little Falls, went 3-for-5 with three runs and a double against Zimmerman.
Avery Threlkeld, Little Falls, went 4-for-5 with a double and three runs against Sauk Rapids.
Katelyn Landree, Crosby-Ironton, went 3-for-3 with two RBIs against Pine River-Backus.
Hannah Christle, Pillager, went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI against Sebeka.
Kourtney Lamke, Crosby-Ironton, went 2-for-4 with a double, triple, three runs and five RBIs against Aitkin.
School: Little Falls
Highlights: She went 4-for-5 with three doubles and a home run against Zimmerman. She went 2-3 with two runs scored against Sauk Rapids.