By Victoria Dahlin
After winning in its first playoff game against Braham, the #3 seeded Rush City softball team faced #2 seed Hinckley-Finlayson on May 22.
The Tigers had faced the Jaguars twice before this season and came away with a loss each time (5-4 and 10-0).
Taniel Schellbach started the road game with a single for the Tigers, but she was unable to score. The Jaguars’ first batter scored because of errors, making it 1-0 after one inning.
In the fourth inning, the Tigers pounced on the Jaguars for three runs when Kayla Forcier worked a walk, followed by a hit by Abby Scherer and a bunt single by Lindsey Williams.
With the bases loaded, Danica Schellbach hit a hard ball to second that was misplayed, scoring Forcier and Scherer. Williams then crossed the plate on a wild pitch to put Rush City up 3-1.
The Tigers added one more in the fifth when Miranda Anderson led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch.
Anderson started off the seventh with another single. While stealing second, the ball went past the second baseman allowing her to round third and score the final run. The Tigers went home with a 5-1 victory.
Mackenzie Sherrill pitched all seven innings, giving up just one hit, a walk and seven strike-outs.
“The girls came to play today,” said Coach Kim Erdman. “Many of the girls have been coming in early to work on hitting. We cranked the machine up and they were coming around on the ball today. Miranda was one of the girls showing up early, and it obviously paid off today. Mackenzie pitched her best game of the year and kept them guessing. After the first, Mack only faced four batters in the second, sixth and seventh innings, and only three in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
“Scherer also did a wonderful job with her glove placement and mixing it around. Our defense played well after a tough first inning. Standing out on defense today were, center fielder Liz Bolejack who made two nice running catches, third baseman Taniel Schellbach who had five balls hit to her for outs, and Mack who had six balls hit to her for outs,” Erdman added.
Facing the Huskies
Last Friday, the team traveled to Whitney Field in St. Cloud to face undefeated and No. 1 subsection seeded Isle, which is ranked No. 7 in the state.
Isle got the game’s first run in the second, and there was no scoring until the sixth when the Huskies plated three more runs.
In pursuit of a comeback, the Tigers got going in the seventh inning when Trista Sarago singled and Hannah Pavek and Anderson both walked to load the bases for T. Schellbach. She doubled, scoring Sarago and pinch runner Williams to make the score 4-2 in the Huskies favor.
However, with two outs and a runner on third and the tying run at second, the rally quickly ended with a strikeout on a 3-2 count.
The Tigers out hit the Huskies 7-4, with T. Schellbach, Scherer and D. Schellbach each getting two hits and Sarago adding one. Rush City also played solid defense, making only one error.
“We do not need to hang our heads, as we played a good game,” said Coach Erdman. “There is no doubt the girls will give it their all when we face a good Kimball team. That is the kind of girls we have on this team. They will pull themselves back up, work hard and hit the ground running in the next game.”
The Rush City softball team ended its regular season tied for third in the Great River Conference at 9-5 and an 11-9 overall record. The team’s season will depend on the outcome of the Section 5A Finals scheduled for Tuesday, May 29 when the No. 3 East section seeded Tigers first face No. 5 West seeded Kimball Area. With a win, the girls have a chance to continue to the Section Championship to be played at Whitney Field in St. Cloud at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 31.