The Class 3A #1 ranked Faribault Falcon softball team participated in the weather shortened Section 2AAA Preview Softball Tournament in North Mankato Friday.  The event was held at Caswell Park, home for the Section 2AAA and State Tournaments.  The Falcons defeated Worthington in their first game 4-0 and New Ulm 10-0 in 5 innings in their other game. It's called a tournament but it really isn't because their was no championship game.  Each team played 2 games and were originally scheduled to play 3 contests.

Mankato East and Faribault were both 2-0 during the competition with Mankato East wins coming over Waconia 6-5 and Marshall 16-2 in 5 innings.  New Ulm defeated Mankato West 8-1 before losing to Faribault and Mankato West was a 12-0 victor over Waconia in 5 innings in their other game picking up Head Coach Don Krusemark's 400th career win.  Five of the top seven ranked teams in Class 3A are in Section 2AAA and four are in the Big Nine Conference.

Falcon Assistant Coach Jesse Armbruster and senior left fielder Camryn Salmonsen were guests on our Faribault Interiors show Saturday.  Salmonsen was 5 of 6 at the plate in the two games and classmate Bre Bresnahan also tallied 5 hits and 5 RBI.

In the victory over Worthington, Bresnahan was a triple shy of the cycle with a homer, double and single and 3 RBI and Salmonsen had 3 of the Falcon 9 hits.

Faribault was laser focused against New Ulm, the team that ousted them from the playoffs a season ago.  Salmonsen says the key to the team's success in her opinion is it's chemistry.  "We've all been playing together a long time."  Coach Armbruster says these ladies, "Aren't afraid of hard work.  When we practice we have fun but also get things done we need to work on."

In the Worthington game Faribault scored 2 runs in the first inning and added a run in the third and a run in the fifth.  Coach Armbruster said the original plan was to give junior pitcher McKayla Armbruster a game off but the backup pitcher got hit on her hand by a bat during warm-ups before the game and with the swollen hand couldn't pitch.

Senior Bre Bresnahan went in to throw in the 7th inning and Salmonsen said, "She didn't do bad considering she hadn't pitched since we played 10U"  Coach Armbruster said Bresnahan gave up a hit and walked two and Armbruster came back in to slam the door on the Worthington Trojans.  Bresnahan made an incredible over the shoulder catch in the game.  Faribault had four stolen bases, one by Salmonsen, one by junior Ellie Knutson and two by Ali Schak.

In the New Ulm game the Falcons scored 4 runs in the third and 4 runs in the fourth inning before collecting 2 in the fifth to win by the 10 run rule.  Faribault had 12 hits and hit for the cycle as a team.  Schak had two hits including a double, Salmonsen cracked a triple with 2 hits, Armbruster had a home run and 3 RBI, senior Cassie Swanson added a home run and 2 RBI and junior catcher Abby Van Ryn had 2 RBI.

In 12 innings of pitching Armbruster struck out 27 batters and allowed 2 hits (1 in each game).  She had no walks and leads the state in strikeouts with 166 in 85 1/3 innings. The right handed pitcher has walked 6 batters (4 in the first game of the season) 1 intentional, has hit two batters, allowed 13 runs 9 earned (0.74 ERA).

Faribault hosts Owatonna for a doubleheader Tuesday and it's the last home game where they will be honoring their four seniors.

If the Falcons win the first game they will clinch a share of the Big Nine Conference title.

Softball Bats- photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Softball Bats- photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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