The Rush City softball team won three of its last four regular season games and finished the season as Great River Conference Champions.
On May 10 Aitkin came to visit and were gobbled up 6-3 by the Tigers,
Leading offensively with two hits were Kayla Forcier and Chesney Grant, while Miranda Anderson, Abby Scherer, and Hannah Pavek each had one hit.
Working two walks were Forcier and Taniel Schellbach.
Pavek led the Tigers in runs with two, while Anderson, Scherer, Forcier, and Schellbach added a run apiece.
Mackenzie Sherrill pitched a complete game, striking out five, walking one, hitting two, giving up four hits and three runs
“Aitkin has experience, as they were starting four seniors and five juniors, so I thought they would be pretty sound,” said coach Kim Erdman. “Five out of the seven innings we faced the minimum three batters. That is a credit to Mack, Abby and our defense making the routine plays. This was a big win in conference, as this counted as two wins as we only face Aitkin once.”
In a nonconference game May 13, Rush City lost 9-3 on the road to Moose Lake-Willow River.
Getting hits for the Tigers were Anderson, Tara Sarago, Emma Peterson and Sydney Sybrant, while Anderson, Pavek and Sybrant scored the Tigers’ three runs.
Sherrill pitched the first three innings striking out six, walking one and giving up two hits. Grant came in for the next two innings and struck out four, walked two, while giving up one hit and five runs (two earned).
Taylor Youngblom threw the last two innings striking out one, walking two, giving up two hits and three earned runs.
“It was a good game between two teams that hit the ball well and pitch well,” said Erdman. “When Mack left the game, we were up 3-1, but I wanted to get Grant and Youngblom some action.”
Double header victories
Hinckley-Finlayson came to Rush City for a double header and was sent packing with two losses, 6-2 and 13-1.
Getting hits in the first game were Forcier, Anderson, Williams (homerun) and Schellbach.
Forcier, Anderson, Williams, Grant, Sybrant and Youngblom all scored Tiger runs. Ripping two hits in the second game were Forcier, Grant and Schellbach, while Anderson, Youngblom, Pavek, Mell and Peterson added one hit.
Grant scored three runs. Forcier, Williams, Pavek and Peterson scored two, while Schellbach and Mell were good for one.
Sherrill pitched both games, going six innings with nine strikeouts, one walk, five hits and two runs in the first game and five innings, six strikeouts, no walks, four hits and one run in the second game.
“The girls played hard from start to finish,” said Erdman. “We had a few girls playing new positions and they did very well.”
Last Thursday the team visited Pine City for its last regular season game and took home a 4-2 loss when the Dragons were out to avenge a loss to the Tigers earlier in the year.
“We were down 4-0 after five innings, and our girls came fighting back,” said Erdman. “In the top of the sixth the Tigers got two runs and had one out with runners on second and third, but could not get them in.”
Williams got two hits for the game. Sherrill pitched all six innings, striking out 11, while giving up three hits and walking five.
“Pine City is a good team, Erdman added. “We hit some balls that they chased down and made nice plays on. We need to be more aggressive at the plate, as we watched a few too many strikes today.”
The Rush City softball team leads the Great River Conference with an 11-2 record and 11-3 overall. As of press time, the No. 1 east section seeded Tigers were scheduled to host No. 8 Cromwell in the first round of Section 5A play Tuesday, May 21. With a victory, the girls would then host the winner between No. 4 seed Ogilvie and No. 5 Braham who play Wednesday, May 22. A win in that game will send Rush City to Mora to play in the 5A East Section Championship at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 23.