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State Class AA softball: Pipestone Area to play for consolation title

NORTH MANKATO -- For the second straight year, the Pipestone Area girls fast-pitch softball team lost its state tournament opener, won its second game, and will play for a consolation championship today in Class AA. The Arrows, bringing a 24-1 re...

3413987+PA softball web.jpg
Pipestone Area shortstop Rachel Skyberg prepares to fix the tag on Esko would-be base-stealer Kristy DeMuth Thursday at the state Class AA softball tournament in North Mankato. The Arrows lost to Esko but won their next game and will play this morning for the consolation championship. ( Doug Wolter / The Globe )

 

NORTH MANKATO -- For the second straight year, the Pipestone Area girls fast-pitch softball team lost its state tournament opener, won its second game, and will play for a consolation championship today in Class AA.

The Arrows, bringing a 24-1 record into their first-round contest at Caswell Park in North Mankato against Section 7 champion Esko, ran into a hot pitcher and fell, 4-0. In the consolation bracket, however, PA rallied for an 11-1 triumph over St. Agnes.

Pipestone Area will play a 20-4 Albany team this morning at 9 a.m. for the consolation title.

Esko 4, Pipestone Area 0 Esko didn’t waste any time getting on top of the Arrows, scoring three runs in the first inning with a two-out RBI single by Davriana Horvath and a two-run home run by Ashley Pollema.

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For seven innings, Esko pitcher Emilee Wilson frustrated the Pipestone Area hitters. She sent them down 1-2-3 in the first inning, stranded runners on first and second base in the second, stranded a runner on second in the third and stranded another at second base in the fourth.

Pipestone Area’s Malary Remund gathered an infield hit to start the fifth, and stole second base. She was stranded there as Wilson struck out the side.

In the sixth inning, Wilson -- a hard-throwing junior who got the benefit of some high strikes throughout the contest, helped herself by slugging a solo home run.

Then she continued shutting down the Arrows from the pitcher’s rubber. The Arrows’ MandI Miller walked to start PA’s half of the sixth, but she was stranded at first.

PA’s best opportunity to score came in the seventh. Kirsten Houg led off the inning with a solid single to centerfield and went to second base on an infield out. Pinch hitter Adrianna Johnson popped up in the infield. Taylor Nesvold’s infield roller on the third base line went for a hit, putting runners on first and third. But Rachel Skyberg popped up behind second base to end the game.

Wilson threw a four-hitter. Shelby Bloemendaal took the loss for Pipestone Area, completing all seven innings and allowing six hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Esko 300 001 0 -- 4 6 1

Pipestone Area 000 000 0 -- 0 4 0

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Pipestone Area 11, St. Agnes 1 This time, it was Pipestone Area that got off to the good start. Bloemendaal sent down the St. Agnes hitters in the top of the first inning 1-2-3, then in the bottom of the first -- after the Arrows failed to score -- the Section 3AA champs got it going in the second.

Bloemendaal started the inning with a leadoff home run over the rightfield fence. Not to be outdone, teammate Tiffany Evans homered over the left-centerfield fence. A few more hits (including singles by Nesvold, Skyberg, Logan Winter and Bloemendaal) and some lapses by the St. Agnes defense, and the Arrows plated seven runs in all.

Pipestone Area tacked on two more runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth. In the sixth, Bloemendaal hit her second homer of the game, a two-run shot to right-center, and she finished the game 4-for-4 with five RBIs.

Skyberg had two hits in the game.

As a pitcher, Bloemendaal competed six, allowed six hits and walked nobody, striking out four.

Gemma Rossini took the loss.

St. Agnes 010 000 -- 1 6 1

Pipestone Area 070 202 -- 11 12 1

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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