Close call: Hayfield outlasts Adams in extra inning thriller 

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

ROSE CREEK – Anna Bamlet has played a lot of softball in her life, but she has never played a game quite like the one she did for the Hayfield Legion softball team in a 3-0, 10-inning win over Adams in a District semifinal Tuesday. 

Anna went all 10 innings in the circle as she struck out 23 and allowed just four hits. All four of her walks were intentional.

After the final inning, Anna embraced her younger sister Nora Bamlet, who is Hayfield’s catcher, and then the team gave a video call to teammate Josanne Tempel, who had been following the game from afar while at a summer basketball tournament. 

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“I think that was the best game I’ve ever played in. For it to go 10 innings was absolutely crazy. Props to Adams, they played very well and it was a very competitive game, both ways,” Anna said. “Everybody played defense for us and we were gritty. I knew it was going to go our way eventually. We had a lot of baserunners and Adams worked out of it amazingly. I knew that one of these innings was going to be our time and I did everything I possibly could to give my team a chance.”

After stranding the bases loaded in the third and seventh innings and leaving two runners on in the ninth, Hayfield finally broke through when it scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning. Jenna Christopherson drove in the first run of the game when she put down a sacrifice bunt that went just a foot and Melody Walker, who walked to start the frame, came home by hustling down the line.

Hayfield extended that lead when Kenna Rutledge doubled in a run and scored on a single by Nora Bamlet. While her older sister did the work in the circle, Nora stayed focused behind the plate and never allowed a passed ball or panicked, even when Adam’s Bailey Johnson was daring her to throw behind her at third when Adams had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Anna struck out three in a row to escape that jam and Nora actually ran Johnson back to third base instead of throwing.

“I know we can push other teams and play good defense and Anna will get us out of anything that gets thrown at us,” Nora said. “I’ve learned a lot from calling games for Anna and catching different sports. I was never a leader before, but she’s taught me how to take charge.”

Laney Weis struck out 17 for Adams as she scattered seven hits. 

Hayfield is now one win away from the first ever Minnesota State Legion Softball Tournament. Hayfield will play either Triton or LaCrescent in Triton at 6 p.m. Thursday. Two of those teams will go to state. Hayfield would have to lose twice in a row to miss out on state.

Anna was teammates with Johnson of Adams on a summer softball team in Austin last year, but the new Legion league allowed both players to represent their hometowns this summer.

“It’s super awesome that girls now get this opportunity that the boys have had for years. It’s a way to represent our community in a different way,” Anna said. “In school, we represent the Hayfield Vikings and with this Legion opportunity, we get to represent the community, Post 330 and all that they’ve done and sacrificed for us.”

Hayfield 000  000  000  3  –  3 7 1

Adams 000  000  000  0  –  0 4 1

Hayfield pitching: Anna Bamlet (W) 10 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 0 R, 23 K

Hayfield hitting: Anna Bamlet, 2-for-4, R, 2 BBs; Nora Bamlet, 2-for-4, RBI, 2 BBs; Reese Baumann, 1-for-3, 3 SB, 3 BBs; Betsy Gillette, 0-for-4, BB; Melody Walker, 0-for-3, 2 BBs, SB; Ella Bamlet, 1-for-4, SB, BB; Jenna Christopherson, 0-for-5, RBI; Kenna Rutledge, 1-for-5, double, RBI, R; Taylor Dick, 0-for-4

Adams pitching: Laney Weis (L) 10 IP, 7 H, 11 BB, 3 ER, 17 K

Adams hitting: Hattie Wiste, 1-for-5, SB; Lynsey Wilson, 0-for-5; Bailey Johnson, 2-for-4, double, BB, SB; Riana Ulven, 0-for-3, 2 BBs; Abby Sorgatz, 0-for-3, BB; Olivia Mathies, 0-for-4; Juliette Heimer, 1-for-4; Jaida Kresbach, 0-for-4; Maren Wehrenberg, 2-for-4, triple, SB