EAGAN - The Fairmont Cardinals Red 12U softball team compiled a 3-3 record in the 'B' Division of the North American Fastpitch Association's Northern Nationals last week in Eagan.
Fairmont opened the national tournament by plating all of its runs during the first three innings to post an 8-1 pool-play victory over the St. Francis Saints on Thursday.
Taylor Crissinger, who collected three hits, lined a run-scoring single to produce the first of her three RBIs during the first frame.
NATIONAL?QUALIFIERS — Members of the Fairmont Cardinals Red 12U girls fastpitch softball team compiling a 3-3 record at the NAFA Northern Nationals tournament Thursday through Saturday in Eagan include, front row (l-r): Kaitlyn Scott, Olivia Anderson, Kaitlyn Freese, Kasi Lopez, Elizabeth Oothoudt, Chloe Murphy and Jennifer Moeller. Back row: Coach Shane Freese, coach Cory Hainy, Sydney Hainy, Taylor Crissinger, Lydia Steinhaus, Bethany Linse, Lexus Wojtanowicz and coach John Oothoudt. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Freese)
Red capitalized on three walks to generate three second-inning runs before Crissinger singled home Chloe Murphy and Olivia Anderson to highlight a four-run third at-bat.
Kaitlyn Freese allowed one unearned run on five hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk in five innings of work to earn the first-round victory.
Fairmont generated three third-inning runs, while Freese fired an eight-hit complete game to pace a 3-1 second-round pool-play win over Cary Crush of Illinois on Thursday.
Freese gave up one run, recorded five strikeouts and issued only one walk in six innings of work to notch the victory.
The Brandon Valley (S.D.) Shock downed Fairmont, 6-2, during third-round pool-play action on Friday.
Lexus Wojtanowicz produced two hits and two RBIs to pace Red's offense. Trailing 6-0, Wojtanowicz hammered a two-run double during Fairmont's fifth frame.
Jennifer Moeller allowed six runs and issued one walk in four innings to net the loss for Red.
After netting the No. 2 seed in its pool, Fairmont dropped a 10-3 fourth-round game to Wayzata on Friday.
Wayzata plated three runs in the first inning before adding three more in the fourth to fuel its eventual seven-run margin of victory.
Bethany Linse generated two hits to pace Red's effort.
Freese allowed 10 runs, struck out five and did not issue a walk in five innings to take the loss.
Crissinger collected two hits, including a first-inning home run, and three RBIs to help ignite Fairmont's 17-9 triumph over the Prior Lake Plaisted in Round 5 of the tournament on Saturday.
Crissinger's solo homer triggered Red's three-run first at-bat before Linse scored on Lizzie Oothoudt's RBI fielder's choice, while Kasi Lopez later scored on a wild pitch.
Murphy and Moeller each delivered RBI singles to ignite Fairmont's five-run third inning before Wojtanowicz blasted a two-run triple. Linse later supplied an RBI groundout to cap the run production.
Oothoudt then singled and scored to open the floodgates behind a four-run fourth frame for Fairmont.
Freese allowed nine runs on eight hits, struck out three and did not issue a walk in four innings of work to net the victory.
The Lakeville Thunder then ended Fairmont's national tournament run by posting a 14-4 win during sixth-round action on Saturday.
Crissinger tripled, drove in one run and scored once to help pace Red's offensive effort.
Fairmont plated three runs in the first inning when Lopez drew a bases-loaded walk before Sydney Hainy pounded a pitch for a two-run single.
Freese gave up 14 runs and walked only one in four innings of work to take the loss.
Fairmont ended its season with a 33-7 overall record, including capturing the Maple River, Mankato and Fairmont tournament championships during the regular season.