FAIRMONT - The heart of the Waseca softball team's lineup recorded eight of the Bluejays' 15 hits to clip Fairmont, 7-3, in a South Central Conference game on Thursday at Cardinal Park.
The Bluejays jumped on the board first as Alicia Knoll smacked a double to left field for the first of her two hits. Quinn Harguth traded places with Knoll with a double for the start to a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Mikayla Rolling then moved Harguth to third with a hit.
The Bluejays then earned another run when Rolling worked her way into a rundown, allowing Harguth to steal home for the 2-0 lead.
LINE DRIVE — Fairmont’s Micaela Gochanour lines an offering back through the box during South Central Conference softball action against Waseca on Thursday at Cardinal Park in Fairmont. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
With Rolling reaching second on the play, she was then driven in on the third Waseca double of the inning, off the bat of Jordan Paulson for a 3-0 lead.
"We knew that they'd be good hitters. They are going to be the No. 2 seed in the section tournament and you don't get that without being a good team," said Fairmont head coach Terry Ehlert.
With a secure lead, Bluejays' starting pitcher Abby Collins allowed three runs on 12 hits, striking out 11 and walking one to earn the win.
After Waseca's bats added three runs in the top of the third, Fairmont managed to generate a run with some of its potent swings.
Micaela Gochanour pounded a triple off the base of the fence in right center to start the inning for the Cardinals.
Courtney Whitmore, who went 4-for-4 at the plate, scored Gochanour on another triple down the right-field line and looked to cut into the Bluejay lead.
Unfortunately for the home team, Collins got Kristen Campe to fly out to second base to end the offensive surge.
"As a team, we have been hitting well. We know we can hit, but today we just couldn't string enough of them together to score runs," said Ehlert.
Mikayla Krzywicki pitched the final four innings for Fairmont, allowing one run on six hits and striking out two in relief.
With Waseca leading 7-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Fairmont looked to have another offensive outburst.
Courtney Guetter walked to start the seventh for the Cardinals and Gochanour's grounder to third moved Guetter to second.
Whitmore recorded her second RBI of the day on her second double of the game, trading places with Guetter to make it 7-2.
Campe sent a blast to the fence for a triple, sending Whitmore home for the Cardinals' third run.
Waseca's ace, who had struck out the side in the sixth, got the outs she needed to then close out the game to secure the win.
Taylor Schultze started pitching for Fairmont, giving up six runs - five earned - on nine hits and struck out two.
Fairmont's Gochanour finished the game by going 2-for-4, while Whitmore added a run scored and two RBIs in her 4-for-4 day.
Mariah Thate also tripled in the game for the Cardinals en route to going 3-for-4 at the plate.
Harguth scored a pair of runs and knocked in two RBIs for Waseca, while Knoll went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Simmons went 3-for-4 and Katelyn Miller finished with a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored.
No. 5-seeded Fairmont (7-9, 5-5 SCC) travels to play No. 4-seeded Luverne in the Section 3AA playoffs at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Pipestone. No. 2-seeded Waseca hosts No. 7-seeded Blue Earth Area in the Section 2AA playoffs at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
WAS 033 100 0 - 7 15 0
FHS 001 000 2 - 3 12 2
Abby Collins (WP) and Jordan Paulson. Taylor Schultze (LP), Mikayla Krzywicki (3) and Kristen Campe.
LOB-Fairmont: 8; Waseca 10. 2B-Collins (W), Alicia Knoll (W), Quinn Harguth (W), Jordan Paulson (W), Courtney Whitmore (F) 2. 3B-Micaela Gochanour (F), Whitmore (F), Campe (F) and Mariah Thate (F).
Waseca edged Fairmont, 5-3, during junior varsity action Thursday.
Payton Walser singled and smacked an inside-the-park home run to top the Cardinals, while teammate Abby Fitzgerald singled, doubled and tripled.
Courtney Mosloski collected two hits for the Cardinals, while Jess Koskovich and Taylor Nuss each chipped in one hit.
Nuss allowed four runs on eight hits, walked five and struck out two in six innings to take the loss.
Allison Johnston gave up one run on one hit and struck out one in one inning.
Fairmont plays in the Jackson County Central Invite at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Alden-Conger 9, Madelia/Truman 8 - Cassie Gilster singled in the bottom of the seventh and scored the game-winning run on Kasey Knutson's sacrifice fly to propel the Knights to a 9-8 Valley Conference decision over the Jayhawks on Thursday in Alden.
Gilster went 3-for-4, including a three-run homer in the third and an RBI triple in the sixth, to top A-C, while Liesel Theusch contributed a run-scoring triple.
Allison Songstad gave up eight runs on a dozen hits, struck out four and did not issue a walk in seven innings to earn the complete-game victory for the Knights.
Hanna Hartman and Savannah Stevens each went 2-for-4 with an RBI double to top M/T, Sierra McCraw doubled twice, while Stephanie Jahnz was 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Beth Kotewa gave up nine runs on seven hits, walked five and fanned eight in 6 2/3 innings to take the loss for the Jayhawks.
Madelia/Truman (5-11, 2-7 Valley) travels to Northrop today to face Martin Luther/ GHEC.
M/T 003 220 1 - 8 12 3
A-C 013 002 3 - 9 7 2
Winning run scored with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Beth Kotewa (LP) and Ciera Drevlow. Allison Songstad (WP) and Kasey Knutson.
Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 7, Martin County West 6 - Karissa Fleck generated the game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Knights to a 7-6 nonconference victory over the Mavericks on Thursday in Sleepy Eye.
Maddy Helget cranked a solo home run en route to two RBIs, while Fleck also drove in two runs.
Helget allowed six runs on 13 hits, struck out four and did not issue a walk in seven innings of work to earn the complete-game win.
Shawna Dressen went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to top MCW's double-digit offensive attack, while teammate Morgan Williamson went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Kennedy Janssen singled, doubled and drove in one run for the Mavericks, while Jordan Gregory supplied two hits.
Gregory allowed seven runs on five hits, walked seven and struck out two in six-plus innings to take the loss.
Martin County West (7-4) plays host to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial today at Fox Lake Sports Complex in Welcome.
MCW 011 030 1 - 6 13 2
SESM 030 010 3 - 7 5 1
Winning run scored in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Jordan Gregory (LP) and Shawna Dressen. Maddy Helget (WP) and Bethany Berkner.
St. James 10, Blue Earth Area 9 - The Saints outslugged the Bucs, 10-9, during South Central Conference action Thursday in St. James.
Audrey McDonald went 5-for-5 with one RBI and three runs scored to top the Bucs' season-best 22-hit performance.
Janessa Jahnke went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs for BEA, while Whitney Pirsig went 3-for-4 and scored a run.
Caitlyn Holm went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored for the Bucs, while teammates Bethany Olson, Ashton Hendricksen, Chelsea Owen and Monica Krieger each contributed two hits and one RBI. Olson and Krieger also scored a run.
Abby Nimz gave up 10 runs on 16 hits, walked four and fanned four in seven innings for the Bucs.
Blue Earth Area (2-12, 0-10 SCC) travels to Jackson County Central today for a nonconference game.