Eagles knocked out
NORTH MANKATO – The New Ulm softball team’s run for a third consecutive state title came to an abrupt end on Thursday at Caswell Park.
The Eagles lost the opening game 3-0 to Rockford, sending them to the elimination bracket. There, the Eagles met St. Anthony Village and the Huskies eliminated New Ulm 8-6.
New Ulm ends its season with a final record of 19-6.
Against the Huskies, the Eagles jumped out to the early lead and it looked like they were going to survive into Friday’s consolation championship. But the Huskies had other plans as they scored three runs in the third and four runs in the fifth to take the lead.
Brittany Denn led the Eagles at the plate by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Ellie Schneider was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Tori Botten took the loss in the second game. She went five innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits. She struck out two and walked three.
Kelly Tappe earned the win for the Huskies. She went five innings and allowed six runs and eight hits.
Samantha Skwarek and Aiyanna Ledwein each had two hits for the Huskies.
The Eagles had things going for them early on, jumping out to a 3-0 lead thanks to some aggressive base-running and an RBI by Denn.
“It felt good, it felt right, we started the game off just like New Ulm Eagles play ball,” New Ulm coach Kristi Andersen Loose said.?”We got back into it in other innings, but we just couldn’t catch them. We had one bad inning and we couldn’t come back from that.”
After taking a 7-3 lead in the fifth, the Eagle rallied and scored three times in the sixth inning to cut it to 7-6 at that point.
But the Huskies added an insurance run in the seventh inning for the final run of the game.
In the first game, the Eagles were completely shut down by Rockford pitcher Bria Majeski.
Majeski gave up one hit – an infield single by Denn in the seventh inning – as she frustrated the Eagles hitters all game.
The Rockets broke up a scoreless game in the bottom of the sixth by scoring all three of their runs.
Caitlin McNeal was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Brianna Calder reached on an error to put runners on first and second.
Majeski delivered the first big blow with a double that bounced over the fence in center, scoring McNeal. Megan Bode later hit a two-run double that made it 3-0.
Botten pitched six innings and gave up three runs and five hits. She stuck out three and walked three.
Majeski pitched all seven innings and allowed the one hit. She walked three and struck out five.
“She threw the ball well and hit her spots,” Andersen Loose said. “She had some good spins on the ball, she wasn’t overpowering, she had us suckered for high stuff and we just couldn’t get a groove.”