The Faribault Falcons are now 14-0 after a 9-2 victory over the Northfield Raiders in Northfield on Tuesday night.

There was an excellent crowd on hand at Rock Fields in Northfield for the game, which featured the No. 3 rated Falcons tangling with a Northfield team that had won three straight, including a quality win over Kasson-Mantorville last week.

When the two teams played in Faribault on April 13, sophomore McKayla Armbruster threw a perfect game.

Junior Claire Drentlaw started in the pitching circle for this game and any thoughts of a perfect game were ended after the first pitch when Raider lead hitter sophomore Jillian Noel smacked it up the middle for a game-opening single.

After a sacrifice to get Noel in scoring position, Drentlaw got the No. 3 and No. 4 hitters to fly out and pop out to put a goose egg on the board.

In the bottom of the first with one out, Armbruster hit a solid single to right; Drentlaw clobbered a double to left center, scoring Armbruster.

Junior Bre Bresnahan collected a single and Drentlaw's courtesy runner Brooke Flicek scored on a throwing error. Junior Cassie Swanson crushed a double off the centerfield fence for a double and Bresnahan scored on an Ellie Knutson ground out.

Sophomore catcher Abby Van Ryn kept the inning going with a single before the eighth Falcon batter to come to the plate was struck out to end the inning. Faribault led 3-0.

Drentlaw gave up a lead single in the second but got her first two strikeouts to quash any threat.

In the top of the third, the Falcons had a lead-off double by Drentlaw, this time to right center, and Bresnahan followed with another double to collect an RBI.

Swanson got under a pitch a little too much and just missed a homer, with Northfield centerfielder Rachel Kelly catching the ball right at the fence. Bresnahan tagged on the play to go to third with one out.

The next two batters flew out to hold Faribault to one run in the inning.

The Raiders halved the lead with a two-run homer by Noel to straight center in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Kelly opened the inning with a double down the left field line. No. 9 hitter Bridget Sullivan laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Kelly to third before Noel jumped on the first pitch for the homer. The Northfield sophomore was a hit away from the cycle, getting a two-out double in the seventh to finish with a single, double and homer in four trips to the plate. Her other at-bat ended in a fly out to center.

Bresnahan led off the fifth inning with a walk and would later score on a ground out by Van Ryn.

Faribault added four runs in the sixth, with most of the damage coming after one out.

Junior Alison Schak smacked a double and stole third base during an Armbruster at-bat. Armbruster hit an RBI single, Drentlaw walked, Bresnahan legged out an infield single and the bags were juiced for Swanson. She clubbed a 2-RBI single and another run scored on a dribbler off the bat of Knutson.

Drentlaw finished the game throwing 97 pitches, 67 for strikes, with seven punch outs and one walk. The Raiders had seven hits in the game.

Northfield started sophomore Caroline Pritchard and had her throw to nine batters, then senior Sierra Barck pitched to the next nine, then Pritchard for nine, Barck for nine and so on.

The strategy of alternating pitchers in an attempt to throw off the timing of the Falcon hitters was something Northfield head coach Ryan Pietsch said his team had to try against the talented hitting Faribault brings to the plate each inning. The Falcons had 12 hits in the game, six off each pitcher.

Faribault left eight runners on base and four in scoring position while Northfield stranded five runners, all in scoring position.

The Falcons are off until a tournament this weekend in Mankato and will then close out their regular season against Mayo on Monday, Owatonna on Tuesday and Class 3A top ranked Mankato West next Thursday. The only road game is at Owatonna.

The West game could be for the Big Nine title but both teams obviously have to keep winning for that to happen.

Northfield has a doubleheader this Thursday with Albert Lea there, then travels to Farmington on Monday, is at Mankato East for a doubleheader Tuesday and hosts Owatonna in a doubleheader Thursday before finishing next Friday at Byron.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game were Drentlaw with the win in a solid performance in the pitching circle and two doubles and a walk at the plate. McKayla Armbruster had a three-hit day, scored two runs and collected an RBI. Bresnahan was on base all four times up with a double and two singles, scored three runs and had an RBI. Swanson had two hits and was on base three of the four times up with two RBI.

Faribault Takes Infield at Northfield-photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Faribault Takes Infield at Northfield-photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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