A Raider rout
Hastings set the tone in the first inning of Tuesday night's Section 1AAA softball semifinal.
The second-seeded Raiders used a slap hit, a controversial infield hit and two seeing-eye ground ball singles to take a 2-0 lead before top-seeded Farmington got a chance to bat. Things looked promising in the bottom of the frame when the Tigers loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single by cleanup hitter Sam Ankrum, but Hastings pitcher Brittany Robinson had other ideas. The freshman hurler struck out the next two batters she faced to get out of the jam, and went on to fan 10 in a 9-0 shutout that advanced the 14-9 Raiders to Friday's section championship game.
Farmington, now 16-6 overall after having its six-game winning streak snapped, moved to the elimination bracket, where they'll have to beat Rochester Mayo tonight at 5 p.m. back at Todd Park to earn another shot at Hastings in Friday night's title game. The Spartans have already eliminated the Tiger girls from the section volleyball and basketball this school year.
The Raiders slowly expanded the lead after the first inning in handing Farmington its most lopsided loss of the season. A one-out walk by starter Morgan Tellinghusen in the second inning ended up leading to two more runs when Robinson helped herself with a single and came around to score on an infield single by Jordan Schaffer.
It stayed 4-0 until the fifth when Schaffer reached on an infield throwing error and came around to score on a towering two-run home run by cleanup hitter Treya Connell.
The Raiders finally chased Tellinghusen in the top of the sixth when they followed a leadoff walk and an infield error with two straight singles. Amanda Karppi came on in relief and allowed a single before recording the final four outs.
Meanwhile, Robinson was shutting down a Tiger offense that entered the game hitting well over .350 collectively. Single hits by Kirstee Rotty in the third, fifth and seventh and a base hit by Sabrina Siple were the hits Farmington could muster after the first inning.
Sam Jensen and Sarah Gunderson, who entered hitting a collective .598 (79 for 132) went a combined 0 for 7 against Robinson. Jensen, who was held hitless for the first time this season, walked, struck out for just the second time in over 80 plate appearances, and lined the ball right at the third baseman in her last two at bats.
The Tigers opened section play with a 5-2 win over Faribault last Wednesday at Todd Park.
The game was broken open thanks to a three-run fourth inning that featured an RBI by Siple and an RBI single by Shannon Doherty. Doherty and Jensen each had two of the team's nine hits.
Karppi pitched the first 4 1/3 innings and Tellinghusen held the Falcons to one hit over the final 2 2/3 to secure the win.
Rochester Mayo 2
Rotty walked to lead off the seventh and came around to score the winning run on a walk-off double by Gunderson in Friday's quarterfinal.
The Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Gunderson RBI double, then tied the game at 2-2 when Jensen singled and scored again on a Sydney Silk bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth.
Tellinghusen came back to hold Mayo scoreless over the final two innings and preserve the win. She allowed four hits in seven innings.