Like clockwork, MACA advances to the point where we start having to play those teams from southern Minnesota. Is there something in the drinking water down there? Whatever the case, this script was followed again in 2015. Our spectacular MACA softball team had the end come in Section 3AA play. Shelby Bloemendaal was the buzz saw type of pitcher we came up against.
Bloemendaal pitches for Pipestone. The Tigers got shut out against this very sharp pitcher and her Pipestone Arrow mates. The score was 3-0. The curtain came down on our season.
I had the privilege of covering Tiger softball several times in state in "the old days." I wonder when those days will come again.
Bloemendaal tossed a two-hit shutout in the May 26 action at Marshall. The two hits were by Piper Gibson and Lexi Mahoney. Rachel Styberg went three-for-three for the Arrows, and Bloemendaal came through at two-for-two. That adds up to five Pipestone hits, but the West Central Tribune reported a line score that had seven Pipestone hits. Back in the days when I wrote for the Sun Tribune here, discrepancies like this (common in the Willmar paper) would have people commenting on my basic lack of intelligence, often with foul language. You would think people in this town are well-educated enough to not have to resort to such expression. When I was in college, I frequently aced assignments that involved complex analysis of deep subject matter. Fifteen years later, people around this town suggested I'm not capable of typing a review of a softball or baseball game. I think there was more going on below the surface. It's too bad someone like Mike Martin, school administrator, had to spend so much of his time working for the paper.
Pipestone committed no errors. MACA had two fielding miscues. Bloemendaal struck out three batters, walked two and allowed just the two hits.
Kayla Pring applied her pitching arm for Morris Area Chokio Alberta. The hard-luck loser struck out one batter, walked three and gave up seven hits in her six innings. One of the runs she allowed was unearned.
The game was marked by suspense as the score stood 1-0 after five innings. Pipestone got some breathing room in the sixth with two runs. A 3-0 lead looked pretty decisive with the likes of Bloemendaal pitching.
Pipestone is the No. 2 seed out of the South. We were the North's top seed. We felt some hope in the sixth frame when Lexi Mahoney singled and advanced to second on Piper Gibson's sacrifice bunt. Alas, there were no runs to be scored on this day.
Pipestone advanced with another win after the MACA game. Pipestone beat Jackson County Central in the losers bracket final. The Arrows are now focused on trying to beat New Ulm today (Thursday) in Marshall.
Our final won-lost mark for 2015: 21-3. Quite the campaign.
Against GFW the one MACA run came home in the fifth, thanks to Trent Marty getting on base from an apparent strikeout. The ball was in the dirt on what would have been strike three. That was critical. Nic Solvie laid down a sacrifice bunt. Sean Amundson came up to bat and there was no more nickel-and-diming for this run, as Sean doubled. A run is in. That would hold up for pitcher Brady Jergenson.
Jergenson allowed only two base runners in this shutout gem. It was a one-hitter in which he fanned six batters and walked four. Nolan Huiras was the losing pitcher and also had GFW's only hit.
Neither team committed an error. We outhit GFW 5-1. In addition to Amundson, these MACA players hit safely: Nate Anderson, Jergenson, Toby Sayles and Marty. Sayles came close to scoring a run in the second but he was cut down at the plate, seeking to score on a Marty single.
Stay tuned to see if MACA can maintain the winning edge!
New London-Spicer 4, Tigers 3