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MW Softball: Lady Jays staying alive

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WAITE PARK -- The Minnesota West Lady Jays softball team advanced to the second day of the NJCAA Region 13A Tournament by defeating Ridgewater 6-3 in its first game Thursday before falling to St. Cloud Tech in the next round, 12-4, at River's Edge Park.

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The loss to St. Cloud Tech pushes the Lady Jays into an elimination game with Ridgewater today at 10 a.m. Ridgewater survived elimination Thursday by defeating Century College 10-0.

"It was a night-and-day difference between our two games (Thursday)," Lady Jays' head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka said. "We played about as well as we have all year in the win over Ridgewater. But then we struggled with our defense against St. Cloud Tech."

Christine Kazemba pitched the Lady Jays to victory against Ridgewater, allowing one earned run on four hits and five strikeouts while walking none.

"Christine pitched great in Game 1," Hayenga-Hostikka said. "She allowed only four hits against a very good hitting Ridgewater team."

Alayna Hall and Macey Edwards sparked the MW offense in the first game as Hall was 3-for-5 with two runs and two steals, while Edwards was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI's. Steph Behrens scored two runs and added a steal in the win.

However, timely hitting and clean fielding were amiss from the Lady Jays against St. Cloud Tech as MW left 12 runners on base and committed six errors despite pounding out 13 hits.

"We hit the ball well, but we just couldn't get that big hit that we needed," Hayenga-Hostikka said. "Plus the errors that we committed forced Christine to throw at least 37 more pitches than she needed to."

Minnesota West took a 3-1 lead after three innings, but a trio of unearned runs in the fourth allowed St. Cloud Tech to claim the lead. The Cyclones didn't look back, adding three more unearned runs in the sixth before capping off the win with a five-run seventh.

Kazemba took the loss, allowing six earned runs on 14 hits, three walks and two strikeouts.

"You have to play clean, solid ball at this time of year and that's something we didn't do against St. Cloud Tech," Hayenga-Hostikka said.

Cheyenne Platz was 4-for-4 with an RBI double and scored two runs in the loss, while Edwards (two RBI's) and Jenny Majerus (RBI) each were 2-for-4 and Hall was 2-for-3 with a run and a stolen base.

The winner of today's elimination game advances to play St. Cloud Tech at noon. The Cyclones defeated Century 10-2 prior to their win over the Lady Jays.

"We get to play again, so there's always a chance," Hayenga-Hostikka said.

First Round

R H E

MW 101 301 0 -- 6 8 2

R 100 002 0 -- 3 4 2

Second Round

R H E

SCT 100 303 5 -- 12 14 0

MW 102 000 1 -- 4 13 6

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