Section softball: Four area teams alive in elimination bracket
MARSHALL — Four area girls fast-pitch softball teams still alive in the hunt for state tournament berths will need to fight their way to the top from the elimination bracket on Tuesday (May 27).
In Section 3A, Murray County Central will play Wabasso at 4 p.m. in Cottonwood for the right to advance. The winner of that game will play Edgerton/Southwest Christian at 5:30 p.m., also in Cottonwood.
In Section 3AA, Jackson County Central will take on Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta at 5 p.m. in Marshall. The winner of that game will play Pipestone Area at 6:30 p.m., also in Marshall.
Survivors in the late games Tuesday will advance to the championship games on Thursday.
Here's a rundown on the weekend action:
Edgerton/Southwest Christian won its winner’s bracket semifinal game Saturday against Dawson-Boyd by a 10-5 margin in Cottonwood, but the Flying Dutchmen were later defeated by Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, 9-2.
Murray County Central slipped into the elimination bracket earlier with an 8-7 loss to K-M-S in its semifinal contest.
Tuesday’s MCC-Wabasso game will be a rematch. In the quarterfinals last Tuesday, the Rebels defeated Wabasso by a 5-3 score.
Pipestone Area took a 20-0 record with it into the semifinals of the Section 3AA tournament Saturday in Marshall, but after beating Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 4-2 the Arrows were stopped 4-1 by defending state champion New Ulm to fall into the elimination bracket.
New Ulm scored two first inning runs against Pipestone Area on Saturday and made them hold up. Tori Botten, who won New Ulm’s first game Saturday (a 13-0 five-inning win over Marshall) by no-hitting the Tigers over three innings, went the distance against the Arrows, who musted just four hits.
On Saturday, JCC dispatched Montevideo 11-5 and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 3-1. The Huskies collected 15 hits in the first game and beat G-F-W on only two.
“We kind of put some things together at the right time,” JCC head coach Shelly Hotzler said on Sunday. “We’re keeping our errors down and getting good pitching, too.”
Pipestone Area’s eighth-grade ace, Shelby Bloemendaal, pitched well, retiring 10 straight New Ulm hitters through the middle innings.
Meanwhile, Jackson County Central appears to have rebounded nicely after being unceremoniously bounced by New Ulm 13-3 in five innings last Tuesday in the winner’s bracket quarterfinals (the Huskies beat Worthington 9-8 in their first-round game).