Fastpitch girls in section tourney
Minneota-Canby qualified for the Section 3AA tournament for the first time in three years, getting an unexpected boost from its No. eight hitter in the lineup and a stellar pitching performance from Brooklyn Nelson on Tuesday in Grove City.
After ripping a double in her first at bat, Katie Konold sent a pitch deep into right-center field in her second plate appearance.
As she rounded first and headed for extra bases, the ball made a resounding “thump” as it caromed off the top of the fence and fell harmlessly on the other side for a home run. With that show of strength in the Sub-Section 3AA-North semifinals against Montevideo, the sophomore first baseman joined teammates Sydney Larson and Emily Pohlen as Minneota-Canby softball players who have gone yard this season.
The home run with two outs in the third inning highlighted a 12-hit attack as Minneota-Canby blanked Montevideo 10-0 to automatically qualify for the Section 3AA softball tournament on Saturday in Marshall.
“It's the first home run I've ever hit over the fence,” said Konold, flashing a wide smile. “I've hit a few home runs in summer league, but never one over the fence.”
Busy trying to stretch the hit into extra bases, Konold didn't realize she had cleared the fence, albeit by the helpful bounce, until she heard her teammates cheering loudly.
“I never heard it hit the top of the fence, but everyone else said they did,” Konold laughed.
“As soon as I hit it, it felt really good coming off the bat.” In the sub-section championship, surging New London-Spicer, despite being the No. 7 seed, thumped No. 3 seed Minneota-Canby 10-3.
Both teams advance to the 3AA tournament, with NLS earning the higher seed.
Minneota-Canby will take on St. James in its first game at 11 a.m. in the 3AA tourney.
NLS pounded No. 2 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 16-1 in its semifinal game. It will be the first time Minneota-Canby (13-6) will play in the section tournament in three years.
“That first game against Montevideo was one of the best all-around games we've played all season,” said Coach Heidi Boerboom.
“We played solid defense and hit the ball really well.
And it was fun seeing Katie hit the home run.”
Nelson pitched the shutout, allowing No. 6 Montevideo just two hits while walking two and striking out five.
Against NLS, Sydney Larson swatted her sixth home run of the season, but it wasn't enough as NLS outhit the Vikings 15-9. Freshman catcher and leadoff hitter Abby Hennen had four hits in the two games for Minneota-Canby.
Minneota-Canby had at least one hit in every inning en route to routing Montevideo in the 3AA-North semifinals.
The Vikings scored in each of the first three innings, with Pohlen and Sorensen driving in runs in the opening frame.
Four more runs came across in the second inning with Konold, Nelson, Hennen and Pohlen knocking them in.
Minneota-Canby increased its lead to 7-0 in the third on Konold's home run, then capped the scoring with a three-run sixth inning with RBI's coming from Sorensen and Hennen.
Nelson allowed a bloop double in the third inning and a another double in the sixth, but was unscathed in a dominating performance.
The Vikings played errorless ball behind Nelson. Abby Hennen and Madison Sorensen had three hits and drove in two runs each.
Emily Pohlen and Konold each had two hits and two RBI. Nelson helped her own cause with two hits while also knocking in a run.
After scoring 14 runs in its sub-section opener, New London-Spicer's bats stayed hot and rapped 16 hits and plated 10 more runs against Minneota-Canby.
“We made a few errors and (NLS) hit the ball really well,” said Boerboom.
“They didn't come in with a real good record, but they sure played well in these two games.”
NLS sophomore Katelyn Nordmeyer stroked four hard-hit balls, including a double, and drove in one run.
Freshman Emma Hanson had three hits and RBI. Brielle Krossman hurled all seven innings for the win, scattering nine hits.
For Minneota-Canby, Sydney Larson had three hits, including a home run to left field leading off the sixth inning.
Katie Friehl had two hits.
Minneota-Canby 10, Montevideo 0
Montevideo.................................000 000 – 0 2 1 Minneota-Canby.........................241 003 – 10 12 0
HITTING: Montevideo – Allison Eickhoff 1-2, 2b; Syndi Streich 1-1, 2b. Minneota-Canby: Abby Hennen 3-3, run, 2b, 2 rbi; Emily Pohlen 2-4, run, 2 rbi; Madison Sorensen 3-4, 2b, 2 rbi; Katie Konold 2-3, 2 runs, 2b, HR, 2 rbi; Brooklyn Nelson 2-3, 2 runs, rbi.
PITCHING: IP H R ER BB K Montevideo Kylie Dann (L)..............2 6 5 5 1 0 Maddie Kilibarda..........3.2 6 5 4 1 0 Minneota-Canby Brooklyn Nelson (W)....6 2 0 0 2 5
NLS 10, Minneota-Canby 3
NLS.........................................002 143 0 – 10 12 0
Minneota-Canby......................100 101 0 – 3 9 4
HITTING: New London-Spicer – Brianna Deming 2-5, 2b; Samantha Johnson 1-4, run, sf, rbi; Courtney Hanson 2-4, rbi; Katelyn Nordmeyer 4-4, 2 runs, 2b, rbi; Emma Hanson 3-5, run, rbi; Courtney Caskey 1-3, run, Ava Kraemer 2-4, 2 runs, rbi; Shea Oman 1-3, sf, rbi …
Minneota-Canby: Abby Hennen 1-4, run, 2b; Katie Friehl 2-4; Emily Pohlen 1-3, run; Sydney Larson 3-4, run, solo HR, rbi; Kaylee Johnson 1-3; Audra Buysse 1-3, rbi
PITCHING: IP H R ER BB K NLS Brielle Krossman (W)....................7 9 3 3 2 4 Minneota-Canby Sydney Larson (L).........................5 8 7 4 3 2 Brooklyn Nelson............................2 7 3 2 0 0