Section 3AA softball: Pipestone Area to play for state tourney berth
MARSHALL — It was New Ulm that kept the Pipestone Area Arrows out of the state Class AA girls softball tournament last year. It is New Ulm that stands in the way of a state berth today (May 29).
The two southern Minnesota powers will meet in the Section 3AA finals today in Marshall (5 p.m.) to determine which squad will travel to North Mankato next week for the 2014 state tourney. The Arrows — who lost to New Ulm 4-1 on Saturday — will need to beat the Eagles twice.
On Wednesday night, however, the Arrows were just happy to have a chance, having beaten Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 6-1 to stay alive.
“We did a better job. We got hits when we needed them,” said head coach Troy Bouman.
New Ulm, second seeded in Section 3AA South, handed Pipestone Area its first loss of the season Saturday and dropped them into the elimination bracket as the Arrows stranded nine baserunners. But the PA bats performed well against Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta. The Arrows had 10 hits in all en route to improving their record to 22-1.
The game was picked up from Tuesday, when lightning suspended the action with Pipestone Area leading 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning. On Wednesday, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta drew first blood with a run in the top of the fourth. But Pipestone Area got it back in the bottom of the fourth and added three more in the fifth.
Moving the ball in and out, up and down, the Arrows’ ace eighth-grade pitcher, Shelby Bloemendaal, went the distance on a five-hitter, walking no one and striking out five.
“She does a good job of hitting her spot,” Bouman said.
Kayla Pring, who also went the distance in the pitcher’s circle, took the loss. She walked three and struck out one.
Kelly Nettik went 2-for-3 at the plate for Pipestone Area. Bloemendaal and Tayla Sysavath also went 2-for-3, and both drove in two runs.
On Wednesday, Bouman said he didn’t know who he would start in the first game today, but he has two fine pitchers in Bloemendaal and Nettik.
After all, if it’s just one game today, that would be bad news for PA.
“We gotta win ‘em both,” said Bouman.
R H E
MA/C-A 000 100 0 — 1 4 0
PA 020 130 x — 6 10 1