Section 1 (southeast Minnesota) was represented well on the opening day of the MSHSL State Fastpitch Softball Tournament at Caswell Park in North Mankato.

Three of the four Section 1 teams advanced in winner's bracket competition.

The only team that did not stay in winner's bracket was Blooming Prairie (19-6) which fell to West Lutheran (18-4) by a 14-7 score.

The Awesome Blossoms had a 7-3 lead going into the 5th inning of their scheduled 7 inning game.

West Lutheran achieved 17 hits including five doubles as they certainly had their hitting shoes on scoring 5 runs in the 6th inning and 4 runs in the 7th to pull away for the victory.

Blooming Prairie was held to 4 hits in the game, but made the most of their baserunners.

The Awesome Blossoms had 4 stolen bases and 6 walks on offense in the game that took exactly three hours to complete (there was a 48 minute rain delay).  Macy Lembke, senior, collected 2 stolen bases and clubbed a double in an attempt to help her cause in the pitching circle.

Lembke did go the distance with 8 of the 14 runs scored earned.  She struck out 5 batters and walked 4.

Rachel Winzenburg, senior, had 2 hits and stole a base.  Shawnlee Snyder, senior, clubbed a two RBI triple.

Eleanor Rolf, sophomore, struck out 3 batters for West Lutheran and went 5 for 5 at the plate with a double at the top of the order.  Madeline Tusler, senior, was 4 for 4 with two doubles, 2 RBI.  Kailey Oppitz, freshman, hit third in the lineup with a double and 7 RBI.

Blooming Prairie will play consolation game against Red Lake Falls at 11:30 a.m.  If they win the Consolation Championship is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Red Lake Falls (22-6) was #2 seed.  Blooming Prairie #3 seed by the coaches participating in the tournament.  The Eagles were defeated 9-7 by Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (20-4).

Top seed New Ulm Cathedral (25-2) advanced with a 8-1 win over Kelliher-Northome (19-5) and #4 seed Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (24-4) picked up a 10-0 victory over Moose Lake-Willow River (13-12).

Class 2A top seed Randolph (25-1) found themselves in a tight contest against Glencoe-Silver Lake (18-6) with the Section 1 representative Rockets prevailing 3-2.

All the runs in the game were scored in the 4th inning.  Both teams had 6 hits.  The Panthers committed 3 errors, Rockets had 2 miscues.  Maribeth Banks, junior, led Randolph with 2 hits. Carter Raymond, junior, had 2 RBI.  Maya Preston, sophomore, stroked the game winning hit that scored Paige Otte, freshman, in the bottom of the 4th inning.

Raymond struck out 11 Panthers with no walks in the one hour and 29 minute game.

G-S-L pitcher, Lydia Dietel, senior, fanned 1 Randolph batter and walked 3 batters.

The Rockets will play St. Agnes (24-2) in a semifinals contest at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, 2024.  The #5 seed Bulls gored Proctor (20-6) by a 5-0 score.  The Rails face G-S-L in consolation action 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 6, 2024.

#2 seed Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (23-2) downed Dassell-Cokato (19-6) by a   7-1 score.  #3 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-2) eked by Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (22-5) 3-2.

LCWM and the Crusaders compete 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 2024 in semifinals action. Consolation bracket games will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Class 3A will have a Big Nine Conference semifinals showdown between Winona and Mankato East.

The #2 seed Winhawks (20-4) defeated Simley (16-8), 6 to 1 scoring their half dozen runs in the first 3 innings.  The Winhawks had 5 hits, Spartans 4 hits in the one hour 28 minute game.

Lauren Kreckow, senior, struck out 10 and walked 2 batters.  Mackenzie Simmons, senior, hammered two home runs for 6 RBI.

Taylor Gallahue, senior, did not walk a batter while fanning 7 Winona batters.

Mankato East (18-6) outhit North Branch Area (9-14), 9 to 4 while hitting for the cycle as a team.  Hailey Petzel, senior, went 3 for 3 with a home run and 5 RBI. Kylinn Stangl, junior, hammered a triple and Harper Stangl, 8th grader, clubbed a double for 2 RBI.

Kylinn threw the firsts 4 innings of the 5 inning game with 5 strikeouts, no walks.  Petzel finished the game in the pitcher's circle with 1 hit allowed, no walks, 1 strikeout.

The Cougars roared out to a 10-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.  The Vikings had 5 errors in the game.

Mankato East and Winona play 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 2024.  The Cougars are trying to repeat as state champions.

Top seed Cretin-Derham Hall (19-6) blanked Benilde-St. Margaret's (7-14), 8 to 0 in a game that took one hour and 35 minutes.  The Raiders cranked out 10 hits, Red Knights tallied 2 hits in the game.

Brooke Nesdahl,  threw the two-hitter, striking out 11, walking 3 B-S-M batters.

#5 seed St. Francis Fighting Saints (19-5) scored a 6-2 win over Rocori Spartans      (19-3).

Rocori was held to 2 hits and they walked 8 St. Francis batters who also amassed 6 hits in the game.  The Fighting Saints had 2 errors, Spartans 1 error.

St. Francis and C-D-H collide at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, 2024.

Section 1 Class 4A representative New Prague (20-3) opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over St. Michael-Albertville.  The #4 seed Trojans stroked 11 hits and held the Knights to 2 hits.

Jordyn Marsh, senior, struck out 6 SM-A batters while walking none.  Offensively New Prague was led by Marsh with a double among her two hits with 1 RBI.  Nora Kelly, junior, also had a pair of hits and RBI.

Top seed Rosemount (22-4) captured a 8-7 eight inning walk-off win over Stillwater Area (19-6).  Each team had 3 errors,  The Irish cracked 7 hits and Ponies tallied 8 hits in the thriller.

Kayla Bartol, senior, smacked a home run among her two hits and had 4 RBI to lead Rosemount.  Jorey Fry, junior, struck out 5 and walked 2 Stillwater Area batters.

The Trojans and Irish are scheduled to play at 2:00 p.m.

#2 seed Forest Lake (19-4) defeated Eden Prairie (16-7) by a  5-1 score.  The game took one hour and 52 minutes.  The Rangers had 7 hits and held the Eagles to 3 hits.

#3 seed Rogers (20-3) scored a 7-0 win over Edina (16-10).

The Royals had 12 hits, Hornets 2 hits in the lopsided victory.  Rogers brought their small ball game with 4 sacrifice bunts in the contest.

Forest Lake competes against Rogers at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 6. 2024.

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Gallery Credit: Stephen Lenz



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