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Section 3AA Tournament: Trojan softball bows out

WORTHINGTON -- One Worthington team exited gracefully in sectional tournament action Saturday. Another split a pair of decisions but remained in contention.

In Marshall, the Trojans softball team defeated Montevideo 9-8 in the loser's bracket of the Section 3AA tourney Saturday to set up a contest later in the day against Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta. In that game, WHS wound up on the losing end of a 6-0 score.

In Fairmont, the Trojans baseball team opened its part of the Section 3AA tournament with a 4-3 victory over St. James. In its second game of the day, it succumbed to Fairmont, 7-0. But by virtue of its first-round win, WHS will play again tonight at Windom in a 7 p.m. start against Southwest Conference rival Pipestone Area.

Montevideo entered the softball tournament as the top seed in the north. But the Trojans --seeded No. 6 in the south -- were not impressed. In a wild one, Worthington assumed a 5-0 lead, saw Montevideo climb back to a 5-5 tie in the fourth, then allowed the Thunder Hawks to take a 6-5 lead in the fifth. In the top of the sixth inning, Worthington scored four times as a Brandie Timmerman double plated what was to be the winning run.

Paige Kinley came on in relief to earn a save for the winning pitcher, Worthington's Sarah Ebbers.

In the game against Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta, a hot pitcher kept the Trojans from mounting a threat. Worthington collected just three hits in the game.

The Trojans finished the season with a 6-14 record.

"We played really well in the sections. We showed we had a good team all year," said WHS head coach Josh Wasmund.

While Worthington's softball season ended Saturday, another Southwest Conference team's season stayed together.

Pipestone Area defeated Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 11-1 in six innings in the tournament's winner's bracket on Saturday, then proceeded to shut out New Ulm 7-0 to stay unbeaten. Tasia Woelber pitched two complete games allowing just one run with a combined 16 strikeouts and three walks. Paige Petersen went 4-for-6 with five RBIs and a home run in the two games to lead the Arrows offense.

In other Section 3AA games involving area teams, New Ulm beat Redwood Valley 11-0, Fairmont upended Marshall 7-4 and Fairmont dumped Redwood Valley 6-1.

Action resumes today at Marshall with Fairmont taking on Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta in a 5 p.m. game and New Ulm playing the winner at 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Pipestone Area awaits the challenger to emerge for the championship, in a 5 p.m. start.

Section 3AA baseball

Expect a close game tonight as the Worthington Trojans take on Southwest Conference rival Pipestone Area.

The two teams have locked up twice this year. On April 30 Worthington edged the Arrows 7-6. Then on May 16 the Trojans bested the Arrows again, 3-0.

"Over the course of the three years that I've been here, every game we've played against them has either been extra innings or really tight," said WHS head coach Stacy Sauerbrei on Monday.

The game begins at 7 p.m. in Windom, and the winner gets to play again as the tournament resumes on Thursday.

Worthington experienced another tight game Saturday with St. James. The score was tied 3-3 heading into the top of the ninth inning when WHS got a one-out single from Aaron Pavelko, who went to third on an infield error on a batted ball by Tyler Hatterman. With runners on first and third, Hatterman took off to steal second. The throw went down, Hatterman was out. But Pavelko scored on the throw.

Blake Rogers picked up the mound victory for the Trojans, pitching a complete game and allowing just six hits, walking two and striking out eight. None of the runs he allowed were earned.

Worthington was less fortunate against Fairmont, the tournament's No. 1 seed in the South. In shutting out the Trojans, the Cardinals out-hit them 9-3. Spencer Chirpich was the winning pitcher; Deron Soderholm took the loss.

Another Southwest Conference team, Luverne, fared very well on Saturday, beating two conference opponents. The Cards outscored Jackson County Central 15-1 to open, then took care of Pipestone Area 5-1. Gunnar Olson led the Cardinals with two RBIs against the Arrows.

In other Section 3AA games Saturday involving area teams, Morris Area beat Redwood Valley 10-1, Marshall topped Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 15-1 in five innings, Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove defeated Benson 6-1, Marshall beat Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 9-1, and it was Pipestone Area over New Ulm 9-6. Eric Buffington led the Arrows with four RBIs in the game.

In games today in Marshall, Luverne takes on Morris Area at 5 p.m. and Fairmont plays Marshall at 7 p.m. In Montevideo, New London-Spicer plays Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove at 7 p.m. And at Windom, Worthington and Pipestone Area face off at 7 p.m.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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