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MW Softball: Minnesota West earns trip to Regional Tournament

ST. CLOUD -- The Minnesota West Lady Jay softball team went 2-1 Saturday to take third place in the MCAC Southern Divisional Tournament and earn a spot in the District C/Region 13 South Championship Tournament this Thursday and Friday.

"We are really excited to qualify for Regions," MW coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka. "It is a great accomplishment for these girls. However, we made the path to Regionals as tough as we could."

The Lady Jays opened the day against Fergus Falls and fell behind early after the Spartans scored a run in the first inning to make it 1-0. Fergus Falls scored two more runs in the third to make it 3-0, but the Lady Jays tacked on two runs of their own to cut the lead to one.

From there, starting pitcher Christine Kazemba and the Minnesota West defense held Fergus Falls off the board through the rest of the game, while the offense added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

The Lady Jays won the game 5-3 with Kazemba picking up five strikeouts and two walks in seven innings of work. Alayna Hall went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI triple, a stolen base and a run scored. Cheyenne Platz was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

With the win, Minnesota West advanced to the semifinals to take on St. Cloud Tech. The Cyclones exploded for 11 runs in four innings to end the game in five innings and claim the 11-0 victory.

Kazemba had two strikeouts in four innings, while Hall picked up a single for the Lady Jays only hit.

In Game 3, Anoka-Ramsey jumped out to a 5-1 lead after two innings, but the Lady Jays fought back to score eight runs in the next four innings.

Anoka-Ramsey put up three more runs in the seventh to make it a one run game, but Minnesota West was able to get the final out and secure their berth in the Regional Tournament.

"Things didn't look good right away in Game 3," Hayenga-Hostikka said. "We were down 5-1 early, but we were able to regroup and start chipping away at the lead. You have to give the girls a lot of credit for hanging in there since they were pretty banged up after five games in two days."

Kazemba once again pitched a complete game, while Stephanie Behrens (3-for-3, RBI) and Platz (3-for-4, two RBI) led the Lady Jays at the plate.

The Lady Jays move on to face Ridgewater Thursday in the Regional Tournament, while St. Cloud takes on Century College. The Regional Tournament is a double elimination tournament and takes place Thursday and Friday.


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