By PATRICK SLACK
Trailing 5-1, the Swanville softball team mounted a sixth-inning rally to tie Tuesday’s Prairie Conference showdown at Royalton.
But with runners at second and third and one out, Royals sophomore left fielder Brandi Smekofske charged in hard to catch a liner, then threw out the go-ahead run at the plate to preserve a tie.
Royalton then responded with a pair of runs in its half of the sixth on an RBI double by sophomore Jacquline Nichols and a run-scoring single by junior Kalee Petron.
Freshman Haley Olson then slammed the door in the top of the seventh in relief of senior starter Amy Vannurden to give Royalton a 7-5 victory.
Senior Kelsey Petron led Royalton with three hits.
Senior Lexie Lehrke and sophomore Katelyn Kasella each added two hits, with Lehrke driving in two runs and Kasella knocking in one.
Sophomore Jackie Panek had a pair of hits to lead Swanville.
Senior Vickie Maciej doubled, while senior Molly Jordan and juniors Tiffany Barthel and Abbey Schultz added singles.
Royalton improved to 3-0 in the Prairie Conference East Division with the win.
Royalton hosts Holdingford, Thursday, and Swanville hosts Sauk Centre, Friday.
Swanville 5 6 5
Royalton 7 11 1
Swanville—Jackie Panek: 2-H; Vickie Maciej: 2B; Molly Jordan: H; Tiffany Barthel: H; Abbey Schultz: H.
Royalton—Kelsey Petron: 3-4; Lexie Lehrke: 2-4, 2-RBI; Katelyn Kasella: 2-4, RBI; WP-Amy Vannurden: 6-IP, 5-H, 1-K; SV-Haley Olson: 1-IP, 0-H, 0-R.