Royalton staged a dramatic 12-run rally in the top of the seventh to knock off host Upsala 14-10, Monday.
Trailing 8-2 after six innings, the Royals caught fire with nine hits to plate a dozen runs in the top of the seventh, then held Upsala to just a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out the come-from-behind victory.
“I have always told my team that on any given day, any team is beatable,” Royalton head coach Amy Krueger said. “In the huddle, before the seventh inning I told them that now was the time, this was their inning, that I believed in them and that they could do it.
“I don’t know that they had the mindset that they could come back from a deficit to win before this game, but this was definitely a confidence booster and they now believe anything is possible when they work together as a team,” she said. “They knew the first six innings were not their best performance on offense and they knew that I believed they had it in them to come back. They just needed to believe in themselves.”
Royalton slugged 17 hits in the contest, led by seniors Jacquline Nichols and Katelyn Kasella and freshman Jordyn Bzdok with three apiece.
Two of Nichols’ three hits went for doubles, while she drove in three runs and scored twice herself.
Sophomores Kayla Eli and Nicole Popp each added two hits, with Eli scoring three times and Popp knocking in three runs and scoring twice.
Sophomore Shania Graczyk added a hit and two RBIs.
Seniors Katie Ripplinger and Kaelin Smieja each went 2-for-3 for Upsala.
“They hit the ball hard and we failed to make the plays to stop their rally,” Upsala head coach Mark Herbes said.
Tresco wins debut
Royalton didn’t require any theatrics, Tuesday, breaking open a tie game with a seven-run fourth inning to make a winner out of freshman Ali Tresco in her varsity pitching debut by a 9-2 margin over visiting Swanville.
Tresco held the Bulldogs in check throughout the afternoon to earn the complete-game victory pitching, while also clubbing a pair of hits at the plate.
“Ali was extremely composed, took charge at the mound, and her teammates did a great job of supporting her and making great defensive plays,” Krueger said.
Sophomore Bethany Cimenski and Popp both doubled and combined to drive in three runs.
Junior Danica Hanson reached twice for Swanville.
“We had one bad inning … take away that inning and it’s a 2-2 game,” Swanville head coach Tom Bzdok said. “We did a good job of making contact with the ball with only one strike out, but the problem was that everything we hit found their gloves.”
Upsala flips script
It was a pleasant reversal from the previous day for Upsala, Tuesday, as it was on the jubilant side of a late rally at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle.
Trailing 7-3 after six innings, the Cardinals plated five runs in the top of the seventh to take an 8-7 lead.
The Thunder tied it back up with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but Upsala ultimately prevailed in extra frames, winning 9-8 in nine innings after junior Kristin Wuebkers scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Becca Kulla.
Wuebkers also worked the final five innings to pick up the win in relief.
Junior Mariah Prokott and Ripplinger each had two hits.
Albany’s early runs prove enough versus Flyers
Little Falls ducked in and out of considerable trouble early, but visiting Albany’s two quick runs in the top of the first proved to be enough in a 5-1 victory, Tuesday.
The Huskies left eight runners on base in the first three innings alone, but picked up two runs in the first, another in the second and two more in the fourth for the win.
Little Falls put together a two-out threat in the first, as senior Sierra Virnig doubled following a walk by senior Alea Cekalla, but neither could be brought home.
The Flyers then tallied their lone run in the second as junior Mikayla Gottwalt hit a leadoff double, then came around to score on a grounder by sophomore Sarah Gold.
Cekalla ended up reaching base three times, Gottwalt finished with two hits and senior Haylee Hittesdorf picked up a hit and a walk.
Isle’s offense gains steam late to upend Pioneers
Isle’s bats woke up late to edge past visiting Pierz 7-4, Monday.
Pierz led 1-0 after three innings before the Huskies picked up one run in the fourth and four in the fifth to go ahead 5-1.
The Pioneers pulled back within a run with a three-spot in the top of the sixth, but Isle came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to seal the victory.
Junior Shelbie Boser went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to lead Pierz offensively.
Senior Tiara Hopkins, junior Katelyn Waytashek and sophomore Megan Kapsner all drove in a run.
EVW capitalizes on errors to rally past Huskers late
Holdingford made two errors to start the bottom of the fifth inning and host Eden Valley-Watkins (EVW) took advantage, Tuesday, turning a 4-2 deficit into a four-run lead and eventually a 9-5 win.
EVW jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Huskers rebounded to get on the board in the third as senior Joelle Ertl singled home senior Ashley Maciej, then took the lead in the fourth on singles from sophomore Maddy Higgins and senior Cortney Kostreba and a walk by senior Sara Grebinoski, with all three coming in to score.
Maciej made her first varsity start pitching.
“She pitched well enough for a win, but our defense is still fine-tuning some things and basically in need of some outside practices,” Holdingford head coach Dan Talberg said. “We hope the weather turns nice and we get more outside time. We have a nice group of players with many new to varsity so hopefully we will get things ironed out soon.”