FC/L comes on strong to take third in softball

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Sierra Rustad, at right, makes a catch at the centerfield fence with support from Falcon teammate Lauren Mensink in the sub-section championship game against Mabel-Canton.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Fillmore Central/Lanesboro catcher Kelsey Biel looks toward first base after getting a force out at home plate of Mabel-Canton's Gwen Tollefsrud.
Bill Bentson

The Fillmore Central/Lanesboro softball team went into the 1A East sub-section tournament as the No. 4 seed and a record of 5-14. They came out of the tournament with a third-place finish and a 7-16 record.

After a first round win over Rushford-Peterson (12-0, five innings), the gals upset No. 1 seed Wabasha-Kellogg 5-4, but then lost to Mabel-Canton 9-2 in the sub-section championship game, and then lost a rematch game with Wabasha-Kellogg 3-2 in the “true-second” game.

The top two teams, Mabel-Canton (1) and Wabasha-Kellogg (2) will play in the upcoming Section 1A tournament. Mabel-Canton (14-6) goes into the tournament with no losses in the four-team double-elimination tournament, and W-K (13-10) has one loss. The Lady Cougars will take on the No. 1 team from the West sub-section, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (20-0), also no losses in tournament play, and the W-K Falcons will take on Blooming Prairie (10-11).

The section tournament was scheduled to start this past Tuesday, May 28, in Austin at Todd Park.

In the semi-final win over Wabasha-Kellogg, FC/L trailed 3-1 after five innings, but rallied for two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh to eek out the 5-4 win.

KJ Corson started the sixth inning off with a single and eventually scored on an error by the catcher. Kelsey Biel struck out in the third inning, but the catcher missed the ball, so she hustled to first base and then reached second on an overthrow by the catcher. She reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Hannah Storlie’s single.

The seventh inning heroics belonged to Daysha Erickson (walked, scored), Lauren Mensink (doubled, scored), Krista Jorgenson (RBI, ground out) and Corson (RBI, ground out). Jorgenson (seven innings pitched, seven hits, four runs, four earned runs, two walks, two strike outs) and the Falcon defense put the W-K Falcons down three-up, three-down in the bottom of the seventh inning for the win. Sophie Pieper scored the first run of the game when Mensink reached on an error by the third baseman.

FCL 0-1-0-0-0-2-2 = 5-4-2, LOB 3

W-K 1-0-0-1-1-1-0 = 4-7-3, LOB 5

In the loss to Mabel-Canton, coach John O’Connor said, “I think the girls were a little nervous to start the game, and it showed as we didn’t have good patience at the plate and made some miscues on defense, that we hadn’t had lately. Once they settled down it was a good game, but we had dug too big of a hole to come back from.”

The Lady Cougars batted a round and scored five runs in the first inning, then scored two more in each of the next two innings.

The Falcons threatened with bases loaded in the third inning and scored two in the fifth inning, but could only come up with three hits in the loss. Jorgenson was in the circle. She gave up the nine runs, six of which were earned. She struck out two and walked five.

Storlie, Mensink and Kelsey Biel had the hits for the Lady Falcons. Addie Peters and Biel were credited with runs-batted-in. Scoring the Falcon runs were Mensink and Jorgenson.

FCL 0-0-0-0-2-0-0 = 2-3-1, 7 LOB

M-C 5-2-2-0-0-0-x = 9-8-1, LOB 4

“The girls really bounced back and played well in this game (second-place game),” said coach O’Connor. “Krista Jorgenson was able to hit her spots and keep W-K off-balance. Hannah Storlie had her first career home run on varsity.”

The score was tied at 1-1 until the top of the sixth inning when Storlie hit her homer, giving the Lady Falcons their first lead of the game. FCL had a runner on third with one out in the third inning, two runners on with two outs in the fifth and a runner on third in the second inning when they scored their first run. They had opportunities to score, but couldn’t find that magic hit.

Wabasha-Kellogg scored the tying run with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the seventh and then scored the winning run after two outs on two walks and two errors.

Corson led the team with two hits, Storlie had her home run and Erickson had a double and was stranded on third in the second inning.

Jorgenson pitched 6-2/3 innings, allowing just three hits, one earned run and four walks, while striking out three.

“It was a tough way to end the year, but the team got better as the season went on and made a nice run in the playoffs,” concluded coach O’Connor.

FCL 0-1-0-0-0-1-0 = 2-4-3, LOB 5

W-K 0-1-0-0-0-0-2 = 3-3-3, LOB 6

Look for a season wrap-up with all the stats in next week’s paper, along with the team awards.