NORTH MANKATO -- Number one was a little too rich for the Edgerton/Southwest Christian Flying Dutchmen Tuesday night in the semifinals of the state high school fast-pitch tournament. The Dutch, who beat Cherry 5-2 in their first-round game, were shut out by the top-ranked Class A team in the state -- Randolph -- 5-0 in a late one.
The game was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Caswell Park in North Mankato, but it didn’t get started until after 10 o’clock due to a tournament format that dragged woefully behind schedule. The E/SWC-Randolph contest was the last one on the field, and it was dominated by the Rockets’ exceptional senior pitcher, Morgyn Otte.
Otte, a hard-throwing right-hander with good ball movement and good placement around the strike zone, one-hit the Section 3A champions. The only hit E/SWC collected was a sixth-inning lead-off slap single by left-handed batter Hannah Pap in the hole between third base and shortstop. What’s more, Otte struck out 18 batters.
“Phenomenal pitcher. She was on her game, she hit her spots. You gotta tip your cap to her. She pitched a phenomenal game,” said E/SWC head coach Andrew Fleischman.
The loss moved the Flying Dutchmen into Wednesday’s third-place Class A game at 10 a.m. against Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (27-1). E/SWC is 20-4.
In the other state semifinal game Tuesday involving an area school, Pipestone Area was defeated by St. Charles 8-2. The Arrows play Wednesday at 10 a.m. for third place in Class AA against Annandale, 24-3. Pipestone Area is 26-4.
Against E/SWC, Otte took control early, striking out the side 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning. And the strikeouts kept coming.
Meanwhile, Randolph scored once in the first and three times in the third off E/SWC pitcher Addison Fleischman, hitting the ball hard in both innings. Fleishman did a better job of keeping the Rockets hitters off-balance after that, surrendering only one more run in a route-going performance. But the Dutch couldn’t get an offense going against Otte.
“We took our hacks and we went out there to work,” Coach Fleischman said. “There’s no shame in what happened today. We just got beat by a great pitcher. She was lights-out.”
Pipestone Area’s game, played on another field in the beautiful Caswell Park complex, was decided in the first inning when St. Charles scored three runs. PA answered with one in the bottom of the first, but could never get closer than that.
Nicole Pals had two hits in three trips for the Arrows, who managed eight hits in all against St. Charles pitcher Brenna Koeppel. Jessa Reinert pitched three innings and Toryn Woelber four for Pipestone Area. The Saints (24-4) had 10 hits altogether.
E/SWC 000 000 0 -- 0 1 2
Randolph 130 001 x -- 5 8 0
St. Charles 301 102 1 -- 8 10 1
Pipestone Area 100 100 0 -- 2 8 4