When facing the end of their season Saturday, the NRHEG girls softball team left little doubt as to their intentions and hopes. The Panthers clobbered St. Clair/Mankato Loyola 11-1 in five innings at Caswell Park in North Mankato and followed that with an 11-2 whipping of Tri-City United. That second game avenged a 1-0 loss to TCU late in the regular season.

NRHEG will head back to Caswell Park Tuesday for a 5 pm meeting with Cannon Falls. The Bombers beat the Panthers 2-1 in eight innings in the Section 2AA quarterfinals on Thursday. Each game is must-win for the rest of the tournament.

In Saturday's opener, the Panthers scored in each of the first three innings to build a 10-0. Ava Kyllo paced the hitting attack with three knocks and scored twice. Sidney Schultz had two hits including a double and drove in three runs. Sarah Johns and Sophie Stork also hit doubles.

Coach Wendy Schultz said, "Great team win. Everyone on our team contributed is some way. The girls hit well pounding out 13 hits, four of them were doubles. They played good defense as well, committing just on error. Sophie kept the batters off balance and threw a one-hitter."

Stork struck out eight and walked four in the 11-1, five inning win.

The success at the plate continued in the second game. Schultz said, "The team continued hitting, pounding out 16 hits." Kyllo went 4-for-5. Johns was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Cloie Arndt smacked two doubles and drove in three runs. Paige Knudson had two hits including a double and two RBI's. Anna Jacobson had two hits, two RBI's and two runs scored in the 11-2 victory over Tri-City United.

"Sophie pitched another great game striking out eight and walking only two while allowing just four hits." Schultz added, "I couldn't be more proud of the way the girls played. We hope to avenge a 2-1 loss in eight innings to Cannon Falls that put us in the loser's bracket."

That rematch is Tuesday, May 28 at 5 pm at Caswell Park.


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