PREP SOFTBALL: Arrows drop title game to NU 10-9 in 10 inningsMARSHALL — Kelsy Kannegiesser and Brittany Hoffmann each belted a pair of home runs in a classic 10-inning thriller Thursday night, leading the New Ulm Eagles to a dramatic 10-9 victory over the Pipestone Area Arrows in the second game of the Section 3AA high school fastpitch softball tournament championship round.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
MARSHALL — Kelsy Kannegiesser and Brittany Hoffmann each belted a pair of home runs in a classic 10-inning thriller Thursday night, leading the New Ulm Eagles to a dramatic 10-9 victory over the Pipestone Area Arrows in the second game of the Section 3AA high school fastpitch softball tournament championship round.
PA, which claimed an 8-2 victory over New Ulm earlier in the day to force the second and decisive ballgame, ends a fantastic season with a record of 24-2. The Arrows’ only two losses came during the playoffs at the hands of the Eagles, who improve to 21-3 and advance to the Class AA state tournament at Mankato’s Caswell Park next week.
“That was a great ballgame played by both teams,” summed up PA head coach Troy Bouman. “I’m very proud of how we continued to come together and battle back every time we got down. We came up a little short in the end, but that’s how the game of softball goes sometimes.”
New Ulm 10, PA 9 (10 innings)
The Arrows rallied from a pair of late two-run deficits to extend the game, beginning with two runs in the bottom of the seventh and then two more in the eighth.
Kannegiesser, who had earlier belted a two-run home run to left-center to give New Ulm a 4-2 lead in the fifth, tagged another two-run dinger — this one to right-center — in the top of the sixth to put the Eagles up 7-5.
But PA, after going down in order in the bottom of the sixth, came back with two runs in the seventh. Cassie Evans (2-for-6) led off with an infield single and advanced to third when Paige Petersen cracked a one-out single up the middle.
Tiffany Woelber (3-for-5) followed with an RBI infield single before Mikayla Enger (2-for-5) smashed an RBI single to center — plating Evans and courtesy-runner Emily Mabon, respectively, to even the score at seven runs apiece.
An intentional walk to Libby Schneider (RBI double in the fourth) then loaded the bases with one out, but New Ulm was able to record outs on the next two batters and send the game into extra innings.
Hoffmann quickly made it 9-7, blasting a two-run home run down the left-field line and well over the fence — scoring Kannegiesser (safe on an error) ahead of her.
PA, though, came right back with two runs in the bottom half. Evans reached on a dropped third strike with one out and went to third on a double to right-center by Kelly Nettik.
An intentional walk to Petersen and a wild pitch ensued, allowing Evans to hustle home and make it 9-8. Woelber then tied it with an RBI groundout to third base, as the Arrows again extended the game with their ninth run.
Neither team scored in the ninth, as Nettik and Kannegiesser each hurled a scoreless frame. Nettik twirled all 10 innings for the Arrows, while Kannegiesser (3-for-6 batting) and Sydney Schuck (also 3-for-6 batting) alternated several times throughout the game as New Ulm’s pitcher.
Then, in the top of the 10th, Hoffmann (3-for-6) crushed a solo home run with one out to straightaway center field. Kali Denn (4-for-5) and Ellen Wiederhoeft (2-for-6) later smacked singles — New Ulm’s 19th and 20th base hits of the game — but the Eagles didn’t score again and took a 10-9 lead into the bottom half.
With the top of their order due up, things again looked promising for the Arrows. Amanda Haupert, who was 2-for-4 in the first game, smacked a lead-off single up the middle to start another potential comeback for PA.
However, Kannegiesser retired the next three batters (on a strikeout, a groundout and a popout) to strand the possible tying run at second base and end the marathon with the Eagles on top.
“To keep coming back and finding ways to give ourselves chances to win says a lot about our girls,” Bouman said. “What an outstanding team effort by both sides. New Ulm really has a terrific team and outlasted us in an exciting finish.”
The Arrows had a 5-4 lead after scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth, taking advantage of a pair of dropped fly balls to go in front for the first and only time of the game.
R H E
NU 101 023 020 1 — 10 20 4
PA 010 130 220 0 — 9 11 4
PA 8, New Ulm 2
Petersen clubbed a pair of home runs, and Nettik (eight strikeouts, one walk in a complete-game effort) retired 13 consecutive batters from the third through the seventh innings to lead the Arrows to a six-run victory in the first game Thursday.
“Kelly pitched very well for us,” Bouman said. “Paige gave us a big lift with her two home runs. But we had lots of other key contributions from several other girls, too.”
Singles by Woelber (run) and Schneider (RBI) in the top of the second gave PA a quick 1-0 lead, but RBI singles from Kannegiesser and Dunn put New Ulm up 2-1 in the bottom of the third.
Nettik, though, retired the Eagles in order (1-2-3) during the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings — inducing three groundouts and three flyouts to go along with six strikeouts in that span to hold New Ulm down.
PA took control with four runs in the fourth, as Petersen (2-for-3) crushed a lead-off home run to center to tie the score. Tasia Woelber laced an RBI double down the left-field line a bit later for another highlight, helping the Arrows build a 5-2 lead.
Two Eagles’ errors led to another Arrows’ run in the fifth for a 6-2 margin, and Petersen capped the scoring by blasting a two-out, two-run round tripper to right-center in the sixth — plating Evans (safe on an error) in front of her to make it 8-2.
Like they did in the nightcap, Kannegeisser (first two innings and final 1 1/3 innings) and Schuck (3 2/3 innings during the middle) each saw time on the mound for New Ulm in the opener.
R H E
PA 010 412 0 — 8 8 1
NU 002 000 0 — 2 4 5