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A near miss; Hayfield Vikings nearly upset No. 1 Edgerton/Southwest Christian in semis

NORTH MANKATO – The Hayfield softball team put together one of their best innings of the season, but it wasn’t quite enough as they lost to Edgerton/Southwest Christian 10-9 in the Minnesota Class A semifinals in Caswell Park Thursday.

After falling behind 9-1, the Vikings (19-7 overall) tallied eight runs in the top of the fifth off the defending champion Dutchmen (25-3 overall) to tie the game at 9-9. Kate Kruger capped the rally with a three-run homer to center field.

“It felt really good off the bat. I was hoping [it would go],” Kruger said. “It shows that we can play with the big dogs. They’re ranked number one and losing by one is huge, because a lot of their games are 10 run games. We know that if one person gets a hit, everyone gets hitting.”

The Dutchmen took the lead for good with a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the fifth, but Jacie Gustine picked up a bases loaded strikeout to keep Hayfield within striking distance.

Hayfield had a chance to tie the game when Kyal Heydt led off the top of the sixth with a double, but she was stranded at second base.

Hayfield will play Sleepy Eye/Saint Mary’s (23-3 overall) in the third place game 11 a.m. Friday.

Kruger said the third place game is a pretty good place to be for Hayfield, which was 0-4 in its past two state tournament apperances.

“It’s just amazing,” Kruger said. “We came here saying we were going to win a game and getting to Friday is an amazing feeling.”
Hayfield 001  080  0  –    9  13  3

Edg./SWC  305  010  X  – 10  12  1

Hayfield pitching: Caitlyn Hendrickson, 3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 9 R, 8 ER, 1 K; Jacie Gustine (L) 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 2 K

Hayfield hitting: Carrie Rutledge, 4-for-4, 3 doubles, 2 R; Jenna Jacobsen, 1-for-4, RBI, R; Kyal Heydt, 3-for-4, RBI, R; Maggie Streightiff, 1-for-4, 2 RBIs, R; Olivia Matti, 1-for-3, R, BB; Kelly Johnson, 1-for-3, RBI, R; Lexi Dudcyha, 1-for-4, RBI, R; Kate Kruger, 1-for-4, HR,  RBIs, R; Gustine, 1-for-3, R, BB