Hayfield softball team knocks off SouthlandPublished 9:09pm Monday, May 19, 2014
HAYFIELD — The top-seeded Hayfield softball team looked like it was going to get past Southland with ease, but it was a little trickier than that in the Section 1A West quarterfinals in Hayfield Monday.
After being on the verge of a five-inning win, the Vikings had to hold off a late Southland rally to win 12-8.
Hayfield will host No. 4 seeded Blooming Prairie in the Section 1A West semifinals Wednesday at 5 p.m.
The Vikings led 10-0 going into the top of the fifth inning, which saw the Rebels (2-19 overall) score six runs to pull within 10-6 after Sam Emanuel and singled in a run and Brooklyn Johnson doubled in a run. The Vikings (15-3 overall) answered back in the bottom of the fifth when Dani Wagner scored on a Southland throwing error and Jessie Foster scored on a Southland fielding error.
The Rebels pulled to within 12-8 when Meredith Heimer singled in two runs in the sixth, but Southland went down quietly in the seventh.
“As soon as we started struggling, we said we’re going to get eliminated if we lose. We can’t lose,” said Hayfield center fielder Grace Walker, who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. “We had to keep fighting and we kept talking. I think we realized that we have to keep working and we’re not unbeatable.”
The Vikings started the game on a sharp note defensively as catcher Grace Mindrup picked off a Southland runner at second base in the first inning and first baseman Bhrett Zahnle threw a Southland runner out at home in the second inning. Hayfield’s offense finally got going in the third when the Vikings scored seven runs in that frame. Lezlie Sorensen had two hits and two RBIs in the inning and Dani Wagner and Zahnle each had two-RBI hits.
Wagner said she anticipated the Rebels making a rally after Hayfield jumped up 10-0.
“I was kind of expecting it. They were kind of fired up before the game and they wanted to be here. We were a little slow getting started,” Wagner said. “It was a little slip up. We’ve just got to game by game and get through it. We’ve had a couple of big error games. We’ve just got to stay away from that and keep hitting the ball and we’ll be fine.”
Southland head coach Greg Schulte was pleased with how his team reacted to being on the verge of being 10-runner by the top seed in the subsection.
“We kept fighting and I’m very proud of my girls,” Schulte said. “They just wanted to play and they played well. They didn’t want to end it on just a five inning game.”
This year’s tournament has a little different feel for the Vikings as they are the No. 1 seed for the first time in a long time. Five of Hayfield’s starters are seniors, so there is a definite sense of urgency.
“It’s a little different feeling this year,” Walker said. “We’ve seen these teams and we’re ready to go get them, but it’s nerve racking being the top seed and we don’t want to get beat out by lower ones. You want to stay on top the whole time.”
Southland 0 0 0 0 6 2 0 — 8 14 4
Hayfield 0 0 7 3 2 0 X — 12 10 0
Hayfield pitching: Alyssa Monahan (W) 7 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 8 R, 5 K
Hayfield hitting: Dani Wagner, 1-for-2, double, 2 RBIs; 2 SB, 2 BBs, 2 R; Jessie Foster, 1-for-3, 2 R, HBP; Grace Mindrup, 0-for-4, RBI, R; Grace Walker, 3-for-4, 2 RBIs, R; Rachel Masching, 1-for-3; Bhrett Zahnle, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, R, SB, BB; Kyal Heydt, 1-for-4, R; Lezlie Sorensen, 2-for-4, double, RBI, R; Carrie Rutledge, 0-for-4, R
Southland pitching: Sam Emanuel (L) 6 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 12 R, 9 ER, 1 K, 1 HBP
Southland hitting; Haley Kiefer, 2-for-4, R; Meredith Heimer, 1-for-4, 3 RBIs; Emanuel, 3-for-4, RBI, RBI, BB; Olivia Gray, 2-for-4, RBI, R; Brooklyn Johnson, 2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs, R; Delanie Barnes, 1-for-3; Meg Finbraaten, 0-for-4; Macy Klaehn, 2-for-3, R, BB; Ramsey Gilson, 1-for-3, R, BB