Hayfield’s playoff push falls one win short
Published 9:19 pm Thursday, June 1, 2023
The Hayfield softball team finished with a flurry, but it came up one win short from the ultimate goal as it lost to Faribault Bethlehem Academy 4-1 after beating the Cardinals 3-2 to force a winner take all game in the Section 1A finals in Todd Park Thursday.
FBA (20-2 overall) scored all four of its runs in the third inning of the title game. Anna Cohen singled in a run to start the rally, Anna Tobin doubled in a run and Morgan Wilson doubled in two runs to make it 4-0. Hayfield pulled to within 4-1 when Alexys Swygman singled in a run in the fourth, but the Vikings never threatened again.
Despite coming up one win short of the Class A state tournament, the Hayfield (13-11 overall) showed a lot of grit by winning five straight elimination games.
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“In the first game today we brought energy and the bats were rolling right away,” said Hayfield sophomore Kenna Selk, who finished four-for-six with an RBI. “In the second game we started slower, but we still had it. I’m proud of everybody. Nobody thought we’d make it this far and we did. I learned a lot from the seniors and hopefully we can fill in their shoes and make it even farther next year.”
Hayfield took a 3-1 lead in the first game Melody Walker and Selk each drove in a run in the second inning. Hayfield’s defense turned two big double plays in that win and sophomore pitcher Elaina Masching was able to escape a bases loaded jam when she forced a groundout to end the game.
Hayfield co-head coach Travis Kauffman said the team surpassed everyone’s expectations this season.
“If you would’ve told us during the fall that this team would go to the section finals, nobody would’ve believed you. But the girls held captain practices and Elaina went to pitching class. They all followed suit,” he said. “We said to take it one game at a time and to do the little things. I’m really proud of them and they are one heck of a group, top to bottom. We cannot replace the seniors and they each brought something different, but we have a great young core and we’re excited about the 12U and 14U teams for this summer. Softball is alive and well.”
Selk was hoping to play in the state tournament, but she was already thinking about summer ball just minutes after the loss to FBA.
“It’s legion ball time and we’re reigning state champs,” she said. “We’ve got to bring it back.”
Hayfield 120 000 0 – 3 6 2
FBA 100 010 0 – 2 4 2
Hayfield pitching: Elaina Masching (W) 7 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 K, HBP
Hayfield hitting: Jo Tempel, 1-for-4, 2 R, SB; Taylor Dick, 0-for-4; Kenna Selk, 2-for-3, RBI; Kenna Selk, 2-for-3, RBI; Reese Bauman, 2-for-3, RBI, BB; Natalie Beaver, 1-for-3, BB; Betsy Gillette, 0-for-4; Alexys Swygman, 1-for-4, R; Megan Hansen, 0-for-1, BB, SB; Melody Walker, 0-for-3, RBI; Kenna Selk, SB
Hayfield 000 100 0 – 1 5 2
FBA 004 000 X – 4 6 2
Hayfield pitching: Elaina Masching (L) 6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 K, HBP
Hayfield hitting: Jo Tempel, 0-for-2; Taylor Dick, 0-for-3; Kenna Selk, 2-for-3, SB; Reese Bauman, 0-for-3; Natalie Beaver, 0-for-3, R; Betsy Gillette, 2-for-3; Alexys Swygman, 1-for-3, RBI; Megan Hansen, 0-for-3; Melody Walker, 1-for-3