The three-time defending Section 2 Class 2A champion Le Sueur-Henderson Giants took their first step in a possible four peat Tuesday with a 12-1 five-inning win over Kenyon-Wanamingo.

Sophomore Giant pitcher Kelsey Berndt allowed just one hit while in the pitching circle and was 3 for 3 at the plate.

After a 12-pitch top of the first inning for Berndt, Le Sueur-Henderson scored two runs in the bottom of the first on four successive hits. The Knights had a double play to get out of that jam.

The Giants added six hits and six runs in the second inning when 10 batters went to the plate. Their at bats ended when, up 8-0, a player was thrown out trying to steal third base. That throw out, by senior Knight Catcher Kelsy Noah to junior third baseman Brittney Woods, was our Held Bus Service play of the game for Kenyon-Wanamingo.

After two outs to start the bottom of the third inning, Le Sueur-Henderson got a single from their No. 9 hitter, eighth-grade catcher Karragan Staub, and a homer by sophomore Liz Milam to make it 10-0.

The Giants brought in another pitcher to start the fourth inning and things didn't go very well for her. She walked three batters and hit a batter before Berndt was brought back to the pitching circle.

Woods got the bases-loaded walk for an RBI.

Berndt's first pitch was to Shelby Clawiter, and she crushed the ball to the right fielder who caught it, threw to first to get the runner trying to get back to the bag, and then a relay home recorded an out at the plate to give the Giants a triple play to end the inning.

Le Sueur-Henderson added two runs in the bottom of the fourth and the Knights went up and down in order in the fifth to end the game with a 12-1 Giant victory.

Kenyon-Wanamingo's six seniors were our Sviggum Insurance Agency of Wanamingo Knights of the game along with freshman Sydney Burow with the only hit off Giant pitching. The six senior team members were Kelsy Noah, Brandi Remold, Shelby and Shera Clawiter, Emily Pliscott and Hannah Paulson.

Kenyon-Wanamingo finished the season 2-16 but fell in extra innings 2-1 to state-ranked Randolph and 2-1 to state-ranked Blooming Prairie during the regular season. Their wins were 7-5 over Triton and 17-2 in four innings over Cannon Falls.

Le Sueur-Henderson is now 8-12 and plays at home Thursday when the tournament turns to double elimination. Don't be surprised if the #4 seed Giants repeat again as section champs. Their record is misleading, with three losses to Class 4A teams and a loss to a Class 3A squad. They also have wins over the top two seeds in Section 2 Class 2A St. Peter and Jordan.

I want to thank the lady Knights for letting me share their dugout in Henderson on Tuesday night.

Henderson Softball Field notice my table and chair in dugout-photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Henderson Softball Field notice my table and chair in dugout-photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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