Little Falls was having trouble with its offense.
Then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.
After trailing 1-0 after five innings, and down to what could have been the final six outs of their season, the No. 5 Flyers had five batters in a row reach to produce four quick runs in the top of the sixth inning, stunning host fourth-seeded Albany 4-2 in Tuesday’s Sub-Section 6AA East opener.
Senior Sierra Virnig drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a base hit by senior Alea Cekalla, then scored on an RBI single by junior Mikayla Gottwalt to level the score at 1-1.
With runners at the corners, Gottwalt stole second, enabling a base hit by freshman Chelsea Moran to bring in two more runs and give Little Falls its first lead at 3-1.
Junior Katelynn Kanieski added an insurance run with an RBI single, which proved valuable as the Huskies ended the game with the tying run on base.
Little Falls turned in a strong defensive effort behind starting pitcher Cekalla, committing only one error while converting 20 of the team’s 21 outs.
Cekalla and Gottwalt both finished with two hits, with sophomores Jordan Schuett and Sarah Gold, Moran and Kanieski each adding one.
With the win, Little Falls advanced to take on top-seeded St. Cloud Cathedral in Wednesday’s second round in Waite Park.
The Flyers were able to stick around through the middle innings, trimming a five-run deficit to two, but couldn’t come all the way back as the Crusaders won 8-4.
Senior Tristen Zimmerman, Cekalla and Moran had two hits apiece, with Zimmerman doubling twice and collecting two RBIs and Moran scoring two runs.
Sophomore Jordan Schuett, Virnig, Kanieski and Gold tallied the team’s other hits, with Gold picking up an RBI and a run and Schuett also scoring.
Sophomore Linzee Gerads kept the Flyers in the game coming on in relief, limiting Cathedral to one earned run over four innings pitched while striking out four.
The Flyers wrapped up their season in Thursday’s consolation bracket, nearly advancing on to the section’s final four.
After upsetting second-seeded Milaca 2-1 with a run in the top of the seventh inning to open the evening, Little Falls dropped a back-and-forth rematch with the Crusaders 6-5, scoring twice before leaving the tying run at third base in the seventh inning.
Full recaps of Thursday’s contests will appear in next week’s Record.
Rocori pitcher perfect in
first-round win over Pierz
Rocori senior starting pitcher Kassidy Klaphake was simply untouchable, Tuesday, firing a perfect game as the host third-seeded Spartans topped sixth-seeded Pierz 7-0.
Pierz managed to remain within striking distance for the first half of the game, only trailing 1-0 after three and a half innings.
But Rocori put the game out of reach with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, then sealed the win with another two in the bottom of the fifth.
Pierz finished the season with a record of 3-13.
Seniors on this year’s roster were Lynn Funk, Lea Uzalac, Paige Reardon and Tiara Hopkins.
Cathedral bounces Huskers
St. Cloud Cathedral proved worthy of the top seed in the first round, shutting out eighth-seeded visiting Holdingford 19-0 in five innings.
The Huskers finished the season with a record of 1-14.
Seniors on this year’s roster were Joelle Ertl, Hannah Peterson, Sara Grebinoski, Sam Maciej, Rachel Hanson, Kinzie Dockendorf, Ashley Junker, Cortney Kostreba and Billie Jo Czeck.
In the final two days of the regular season:
Flyers thump Foley,
shut out by Zimmerman
Six players had multi-hit games as Little Falls smashed host Foley 15-3, May 15.
Gottwalt, Kanieski and Schuett had three hits apiece, with Kanieski driving in four runs and scoring twice, while Schuett knocked in a pair and crossed the plate twice.
Virnig, Cekalla and Gold contributed two hits apiece, with Cekalla and Virnig each scoring twice and Cekalla collecting three RBIs.
Moran singled, drew two walks and was hit by a pitch as she scored three runs, senior Korlyna Keehr singled and drove in two and Zimmerman drew a pair of walks and scored twice.
Cekalla didn’t allow an earned run over four innings to earn the win pitching, with Gerads pitching a hitless fifth to finish the game.
The Flyers couldn’t keep their hot bats rolling in their regular season finale, falling 6-0 to visiting Zimmerman, May 16.
The Thunder received all six of their hits from three players, who also combined to collect all of the team’s RBIs.
Gottwalt went 2-for-3 and Keehr, Kanieski and Schuett each added a hit for the Flyers.
Pierz, Holdingford fall
Milaca junior Hannah Johnson threw a one-hit shutout, striking out 11 as the visiting Wolves topped Pierz 11-0 in five innings in the Pioneers’ regular season finale, May 16.
Junior Katelyn Waytashek doubled for Pierz’ lone hit.
Holdingford fell 13-3 at Albany in six innings in its regular season finale, May 15.