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MW Softball: Solid season ends for Lady Jays

WAITE PARK -- The Minnesota West softball team's season came to an end Friday after the Lady Jays fell to the Ridgewater Warriors 9-1 in five innings at the NJCAA Region 13A Tournament.

"I'm really proud of the girls," Minnesota West coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka said. "The fact that we were able to take third in the region and have a chance to make it to the championship game is awesome. This team exceeded my expectations, especially coming in with one pitcher for the whole season."

The Lady Jays jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after Jes Hermeling (1-for-3) scored in the first, but the Warriors quickly tied the game with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.

After blanking Minnesota West in the top of the second, Ridgewater exploded for five runs to take a 6-1 lead heading into the third.

"That five-run second really took the wind out of our sails," Hayenga-Hostikka said. "But at least most of their runs were earned runs instead of unearned like we have been giving up lately."

The Warriors scored again in the third and added two more runs in the fifth to bring an early end to the game and the Lady Jays' season.

"We had a few walks and got people on base, but we just couldn't get that timely hit to drive anyone in," Hayenga-Hostikka said. "We left nine batters on the bases in the last four innings and that isn't good."

Christine Kazemba pitched all five innings, giving up seven earned runs while striking out four batters. Cheyenne Plates was 2-for-2 on the day with an RBI and a double to lead the Lady Jays at the plate.

Minnesota West ends the season 17-12 and will lose just four sophomores next season.

"We came into the season with just one pitcher and a completely freshman outfield," Hayenga-Hostikka said. "But our sophomores really stepped up and led the younger kids and that had a lot to do with our success this year."


Minnesota West 100 00 -- 1 6 2

Ridgewater 151 02 -- 9 12 0