Northfield Softball Poised for State Title Run
The Northfield Raiders just might have the best pitcher remaining in the Class 3A State Tournament field. Sophomore Brynn Hostettler moved to Northfield from Winona and the Raiders are happy her family made the move. Hostettler appears to be happy also.
If statistics are any indication of how good a pitcher is Hostettler's numbers are more than impressive. A minuscule 0.83 ERA with 229 strikeouts in 109 innings pitched. She hasn't been asked to provide any offense. Just pitch baby pitch! The Becker Bulldogs did not provide any individual statistics but their team stats say their team ERA is 1.10, runs allowed 42, 91 hits and 254 strikeouts.
Three of the eight teams in the field in Class 3A provided no team or individual statistics.
The Raiders enter their State Tournament opener against Detroit Lakes with a 18-3 record. Losses in the loaded Big Nine to Faribault and Mankato West and their other loss to Elk River.
West and Farmington are at state again a year after both teams were absent last season. Raiders Hostettler is 14-2 and senior Caroline Pritchard 4-1 with a 2.30 ERA, 42 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. The team ERA is 1.10. Opponents are hitting .133 off Northfield pitching while the Raiders have a team batting average of .323.
Northfield has outscored their opponents 138 to 26 and outhit them 181 to 63. They have five girls with 20 or more hits in their 21 games led by senior Jillian Noel with 27 hits. Sophomore Payton Fox has 26 hits. Junior Anne Fossum 25 hits. Fossum and Noel each have 23 RBI to lead the team. The Raiders have 4 home runs.
Detroit Lakes has a 17-6 record. A team batting average of .373. A team ERA of 7.00.
Senior Madelyn Kirchner is their top pitcher with a 14-3 record, 127 strikeouts in 100 innings pitched, ERA of 3.99. Junior Laura Prussia leads the Lakers with 40 hits but sophomore Autumn Kulik has a .540 batting average with 27 hits. Prussia has 33 RBI to lead the team.
Detroit Lakes has 28 home runs in their 23 games. Prussia has 9 round trippers and six ladies have 3 or more homers.
Northfield Head Coach Ryan Pietsch believes pitching and defense win games and the Raiders have been superb in both categories. They have 10 errors all season. Detroit Lakes has 53 errors.
Northfield was rated #3 in the latest Minnesota Softball Coaches Association poll. Detroit Lakes was not ranked. #1 is Mankato West. The Raiders are the #2 seed in the tournament and the Scarlets are #1.
If Northfield wins their first game they play at 5:00 p.m. against the #3 seed Becker vs. Mahtomedi game winner. If they lose they play the team that does not win in the Becker contest at 5:00 p.m.