In section competition last week the No. 1 east section seeded Rush City softball team came out ahead in three of four playoff games.
First up, after pouring rain caused a lengthy delay that left the field soaked and muddy, the Tigers crushed the visiting No. 8 east seed Cromwell Cardinals 17-2 in five innings.
Cromwell scored a run in the top of the first, but Rush City answered with five runs in the bottom of the first and two more in the second to go up 7-1.
Though the Cardinals scored another run in the third, it would be their last as the Tigers answered with one in the third and nine in the fourth to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule.
Leading scorers were Miranda Anderson with four runs and Taniel Schellbach with three.
Hannah Pavek, Chesney Grant and Kayla Forcier crossed home twice, while Kiawna Forcier, Lyndsey Williams, Sydnie Sybrant and Chelsey Mell each scored once.
Sybrant led the team with two hits. Anderson, Williams, Grant, Pavek and Mell each had a hit.
Mackenzie Sherrill earned the win by striking out 12 and walking one.
“The weather was not cooperative, but the girls persevered and made the best out of it,” said coach Kim Erdman.
Tigers rout Bombers
Rush City then bombed No. 5 east seed Braham 14-4 in another five-inning mercy rule game.
Leading scorers for the Tigers were Grant with four runs, while Anderson and Schellbach each had two. Taylor Youngblom, Grant, Sybrant, Pavek, Williams and Kayla Forcier each added a hit.
Sherrill struck out the side in the top of the first on her way to fanning eight in the game while walking one.
“We had a little trouble with timing at the plate as we lunged at a few low pitches, and we made a few errors that we normally do not make,” Erdman said. “But we still persevered and ended strong. The girls ran the bases well and kept the pressure on Braham.”
Road trip to Mora
The Tigers than traveled to neutral site Mora for their next two games.
Rush City first squared off against No. 2 east seeded Isle whom they had faced twice before during the regular season with each team winning one.
“Isle has experience in their batting line-up with four seniors and five juniors,” Erdman noted. “And that experience paid off with Isle beating the Tigers 20-6.”
Anderson had two hits and scored two runs for the Tigers. Kayla Forcier, Williams, Grant, Schellbach, Sybrant and Mell all managed one hit, with Forcier, Grant, Schellbach and Sybrant each scoring a run.
Finally the Tigers faced the winner of the battle of the Bombers, as Braham had taken on No. 3 east seed Barnum and prevailed.
The Tigers won a hard fought 5-2 battle.
Kayla Forcier and Williams each had two hits; adding a hit were Anderson, Grant, Schellbach, Pavek and Sybrant.
The first three batters scored all of Rush City’s runs with Forcier and Anderson scoring twice and Williams scoring once.
Sherrill struck out eight and did not walk a batter to help seal the victory.
“This was the fourth time we saw Braham, so we start getting to know each other’s tendencies,” said Erdman. “We played well, and we won the game, but we left 14 base runners on in six innings, which kept us from breaking the game open. However, our defense held up, and we came home winners.”
As of press time, Rush City was scheduled to take on No. 3 west seed Osakis on Tuesday where a victory would have the Tigers face the loser of the No. 1 west seed Eden Valley-Watkins versus Isle game in section double elimination competition. A win in that game would then send Rush City to face the winner of the Eden Valley-Watkins versus Isle game in the section 5A Championship matchup to be held Thursday, May 30 at Whitney Field in St. Cloud.