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Posted in All Sports
Fillmore Central/Lanesboro’s Andy Love crosses home plate, and Dan Gatzke (background) would minutes later. The Falcons scored four runs in the first inning on Chatfield. They then held on for an upset 7 to 3 victory. FC/L then pulled another upset, downing Lewiston-Altura a few days later to move on to the Section ‘Final Four’ in Austin. Photo by Paul Trende
With three of Fillmore County’s teams being, at the very least, competitive, one could’ve expected that the 2013 1A-East softball tournament would be highlighted by the efforts of Chatfield, Fillmore Central/Lanesboro, and/or Rushford-Peterson. But in softball (baseball), hitting is contagious. Errors too, seemingly, are the same way. Pitching is also a wild-card variable. County teams found themselves on the wrong end of each of those factors. It got started badly right away.
Two-seed FC/L rode pitcher Morgan Malley to a 13-3 record in the regular season. Lewiston-Altura (5-13), the 7-seed and defending Sub-Section champs (mostly depleted of last season’s stars), weren’t impressed. The Card’s chalked up nine singles over the final four innings. A 4-run 4th inning was big. FC/L’s offense was a big dud (two hits and neither got past L-A pitcher Ashley Beyer). With Beyer throwing a 2-hitter and striking out eight, the Falcons season ended (at 13-4) with a 5-1 defeat. Malley stuck out 10 and was 1-2 at the plate with two walks. Jordan O’Connor drove in the lone FC/L run.
Five-seed Rushford-Peterson (10-8) wasn’t in any position to get upset. They were the higher seed versus #4 Wabasha-Kellogg (11-6). But, the Trojans couldn’t pull off the mild upset either. R-P built a 5-0 lead after two, only for it to completely evaporate courtesy of a 5-run W-K third inning. The Falcons then scored two in the 4th and held the lead to win 8-6. Kendra Crawford (2B, 2 R, SB), Jodi Eggert (RBI, 2 R), and Kori Iverson (RBI) each went 2-4 for the Trojans, who finish the season just above .500 (10-9).
In 1AA action, 7-seed GMLOK’s season came to an end at the hands of 2-seed Spring Grove-Caledonia (13-7) and star pitcher Samantha Bratland. The Bulldogs recorded just one hit versus the sophomore hurler, a Courtney Schmidt single. Bratland also went 4-4 at the plate and drove in a pair of runs and the Lions got the 10-0 5-inning win. GMLOK’s season ends at 3-17.
The top-seeded Chatfield Gophers (16-2) were the only county softball team to pull out a post-season win. They scored eight runs in the first two innings versus 8-seed Mabel-Canton (3-10), and then ended things in the bottom of the 6th for a 10-0 victory. Sidney Irish was 2-2 and reached base safely all four times. Kirsten Keefe was 1-3 and drove in three runs. Maddy Larrabie and Candace Gould were each 2-4 with an RBI. Cougar 8th grader Coranda Vickerman had two of M-C’s three hits. She reached base safely all three plate appearances (2-2, BB), though her team’s season ended at 3-11.
A magnificent season pretty much ended there for the Gophers. In dismal rainy, drizzling conditions, the Gophers had a rainy, drizzly couple of innings versus 4-seed W-K (12-6). Leading 2-0 after two, the Gophers gave up a 5-run third. In the 4th, four W-K hits, four Gopher walks, two errors, and three wild pitches combined to spell eight Falcon runs. Chatfield trailed 13-2 after four. They never recovered and were upset 13-7. The Goph’s out-hit W-K 11 to 10, but Brook Irish and Jennifer Hanson combined for nine BB’s and four WP’s. Falcon hurler Bailey LaRoche (who hit a big 2-run HR in the 3rd inning) issued three BB’s and had one WP. Senior MaKenzie Miller (3-4, 2B, 2 R) led Chatfield offensively.
Per the new double-elimination-past-the-first-round Sub-Section softball rules, the Gophers then faced off with 3-seed Houston (11-4) in an elimination game. The third inning was again a problem. Two ‘Cane hits, a walk, and four Gopher errors equaled a 5-run inning. Houston jumped ahead 6-2. That was more than enough for ‘Cane pitcher Abbey Loken. The Goph’s had just four hits against the junior standout. Houston ended Chatfield’s season (at 17-4) with a 6-3 victory. Sidney Irish, Ashley Wolter, and Candace Gould each drove in runs. Vanessa Lee (2-2, 2B, R, RBI), Julie Ulmen (2-3, 2B, RBI, R), and Loken (7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, Win) were the biggest Gopher assailants. After a 16-2 regular season, the Gophers had a 1-2 post-season. County teams went 1-6 in the post-season. Seven seed L-A (coached by Preston native Barry Tienter) downed W-K for the Sub-Section title. Houston downed W-K to move on (with L-A) to Austin and the Section ‘final four’. Both then lost, though L-A was still alive.
With softball dominating Fillmore County ‘ball’ action this spring, it was only fitting that the last team standing was a baseball team. The squad that made it past Memorial Day was a definite surprise. Things started with a couple non-surprises. In Section 1AA East action, 8-seed GMLOK (2-11) bowed out to top seed Lake City (14-4) 5 to 1. Section 1A’s top seed, Wabasha-Kellogg (12-1), unceremoniously dismissed 8-seed Mabel-Canton (3-10) from the tournament. The final was 15-0 in five innings, as M-C managed just a single hit. Chatfield (2-seed, 10-5) beat Houston (7-seed, 3-11) 5 to 0. Noah Grant had two of the Gopher’s five hits, including a 2-run single in the first inning. FC/L (5-seed, 2-10) and R-P (4-seed, 3-11) each tattooed the ball with 10 hits apiece. But errors (8 to 4) and men left on base (13 to 7) doomed the Trojans. Courtesy of a 5-run 6th, FC/L turned a 5-3 lead much larger. They prevailed 11-3. Shane Jacobson (4-4, 2 RBI’s) and Eric Courrier (3-4, 2 2B’s, 2 R’s) led the Trojans, Dan Gatzke (2-5, 3 RBI’s) and Andy Love (3-4, 3 RBI’s) the Falcons.
All that first round action set up 1A semifinals between the Falcons-North/South, and Chatfield/Lewiston-Altura at Loughrey Field on the campus of WSU. The battle of the Falcons wasn’t much of a tussle. Wabasha-Kellogg, #4 in Class A, dispatched with FC/L in 5 innings 10-0. A 6-run second inning was key. Niko Anderson (1-3) and Dan Gatzke (1-2) had the only FC/L hits. Chatfield then took the field against L-A (9-6). The Cardinals managed a pedestrian five hits against Gopher pitching. They didn’t need to put the ball in play. Gopher pitchers combined to issue 10 walks. L-A scored four in the third, then one each in the fourth thru sixth innings. With no players on either team recording more than one hit, L-A downed Chatfield 7-4. Sophomore Drew Hurley was 100% productive (1-1, 3B, 2 BB’s, Sac Bunt, RBI, R). Cardinal left-fielder Arron Hohensee didn’t have a hit, but drove in two runs.
That loss put Chatfield into an elimination game with FC/L. The Falcons came out on fire. Their first five batters reached base, and then scored. Gatzke and Clay Olson had RBI singles. Nick Ebner capped the 5-run first with a 2-run single. But Chatfield got right back into it. Noah Grant’s 2-run single capped their first inning making the score 5-3. From there, FC/L junior pitcher Josh Jones stood out. Jones fought a good-hitting Gopher line-up hard. He never recorded a 1-2-3 inning, but also never gave up another run. He got out of two real tough spots (2nd and 3rd 1-out in the second, and 1st and 2nd no out in the fifth) while stranding Gopher runners in scoring position in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. Eleven total Gopher runners were left on base. Via a 7-3 final, FC/L ended Chatfield’s season at 11-7. Jones got the win (6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 K, 4 BB). Gatzke (2-3, RBI, R) and Ebner (2-4, 2 RBI) did the big hitting for FC/L. Jake Neis and Mitch Irish were each 2-4 for the Gophers. FC/L’s miracle run didn’t end there. They knocked off L-A 8-6 in the 1A East 2nd place game. After a 2-1 start to the season, and then 9-straight losses, the Falcons are 3-1 in the post-season. They will play in Austin at the Section ‘Final Four’.
05-20 > M-C 8, Schaeffer Acad. 9 (Cougars fell behind 5-1, rallied to take 8-7, only to lose walk-off style)
> P-E-M 7, Chatfield 0 (C: Nate Skare 2-3 (had half of Chat’s hits). Gophers end regular season at 10-5)
> St. Charles 7, R-P 8; 8 innings (Trojans end regular season at 3-11)
05-21 > Game 1 M-C 5, Lyle/Pacelli 7; Game 2 M-C 5, L/P 17 (Coug’s end regular season at 3-13)
Track and Field
05-22 > Sub-Section 1A East Championships (Team-wise, Chatfield and the R-P/H girls took 2nd and 3rd. L/FC/MC and Kingsland took 6th and 7th (of 7). R-P/H’s boys took 3rd, L/FC/M-C 4th, Chatfield 5th, and Kingsland 7th (of 7). Top 3 individuals and top three relays qualify for Section 1A meet, plus those by 1A Standards**)
> Chatfield qualifiers: Ashley Baker (1st 100), Autum Erickson (2nd 100), Maddy Kammer (1st 200, 1st 400), Mariah Bell (2nd 200), Karen Gomez (3rd 3200), Maddie Talamantes (2nd 300-hurdles), the girls 4x100 (1st Baker, Erickson, Talamantes, Bell), 4x200 (1st Baker, Erickson, Kammer, Bell), & 4x800 (1st Alex Duxbury, Kayla Woltz, Gomez, Talamantes), Mikaela Bray (tie-3rd Pole Vault), Sydney Gould (3rd Shot Put), Christian Bance (4th** 800), Alex Haffner (3rd 110-hurdles), the boys 4x200 (3rd Jayme LaPlante, Tyler Wondrow, Bance, Alex Haffner), Wondrow (3rd High Jump), LaPlante (2nd Shot Put, 1st Discus), and Adam Amy (3rd Shot Put, 3rd Discus).
> L/FC/M-C qualifiers: Kenzie Broadwater (3rd 100, 3rd 200, tie-5th** Long Jump), Bailey Ruen (3rd 1600), Kiera Olson (2nd 3200), the girls 4x400 (3rd Sara Vettleson-Trutza, Broadwater, Ruen, Kenndyl Bennett), Alisa Warnes (3rd High Jump), Belle Sand (tie-5th** Long Jump), Olivia Haug (1st Discus), Gabe Decker (3rd 200, 1st Pole Vault), Quentin Case (2nd 300-hurdles), the boys 4x400 (3rd Q. Case, Zach Case, Brandon Breitsprecher, Erik Peterson) & 4x800 (2nd Breitsprecher, Nathaniel Harrison, Z. Case, Peterson).
> R-P/H qualifiers: Anna Sweet (5th** 100), Kate McKenzie (2nd 100-hurdles), Sierra McNamer (3rd 100-hurdles), the girl’s 4x100 (2nd Amy Todd, Kenzie Ness, Sweet, Ashley Agrimson) & 4x200 (3rd Erika Hinz, Cody Manfull, Todd, McNamer), Jordan Honken (1st Pole Vault), Manfull (tie-3rd Pole Vault), A. Agrimson (3rd Long Jump), Elizabeth Loken (3rd Discus), Noah Carlson (3rd 400, 4th** Triple Jump), Austin O’Hare (1st 1600, 1st 3200), Matt Culhane (4th** Discus), the boys 4x100 (3rd Casey McLellan, Dan Thorson, Carlson, Tyler McLellan) & 4x200 (1st McLellan, Thorson, Carlson, McLellan), and T. McLellan (3rd Long Jump).
> Kingsland qualifiers: Lacey Schwartz (4th** 100), Erica Earley (2nd 1600), Marissa Bornholdt (2nd Pole Vault), and DeAngilo Funches (3rd 100, 1st Long Jump, 1st Triple Jump))
05-20 > (Boys) FC 175, Chatfield 218 (FC had top three, Jordan Miller (38), Matt Guttormson (42), and Trevor Barnes (47). Luke Kappers (48) was the top Gopher); (Girls) FC 231, Chatfield 250 (FC’s Katie Tammel (49) was medallist, Chatfield’s Morgan Henry (50) was second. At Chosen Valley GC)
05-20 > Sub-Section 1A-East Meet (Fillmore Central’s boys (338) finished second to W-K (318) and will advance to Section 1A Meet. R-P’s boys finished 3rd (340), Lanesboro’s 6th, and Kingsland’s 7th (of 7). Jordan Miller (FC) and Fletcher Blaschko (W-K) co-medalled (74’s). Lanesboro’s Liam Dorn (80, tie-4th) and R-P’s Hudson Stensgard (82, tie-7th), Charlie Krambeer (82, tie-7th), & Kyle Wiedemann (83, tie-9th) each individually advanced. On the girls side, FC finished 3rd, Lanesboro 4th, and Kingsland was incomplete. Lanesboro’s Johanna Bearson (87, 2nd), Kingsland’s Karli Bly (89, 4th) and Megan Back advanced, as did an FC five-some of Katie Tammel (95, tie-5th, Keeley Todd (97, 8th), Grace Miller, Laura Donney, and Skyelar Vieseth)
05-24 > Sub-Section 1AA-East Meet (Chatfield’s boys took 8th (of 8), the girls 5th (of 5 complete teams). Lucas Kappers and Paige Isensse qualified for the 1AA Meet)