The #2 Class 3A ranked Faribault Falcons rode a 3 run Abby Van Ryn homer in the bottom of the 6th inning to a 4-0 win today over #9 Class 3A Mankato East in Faribault.  Interesting to note that Mankato East elected to intentionally walk McKayla Armbruster placing runners at first and second with two outs before pitching to Van Ryn. It was Abby's third homer of the season.

With one out Abby Lake stroked a double that hit the left field fence on the fly and looked like it was going to be over the fence. Lindsay O'Neil was retired pitcher to first base, Lake stayed at second.  That's when the Cougars elected to intentionally pass Armbruster to get to Van Ryn and I thought they would do the same with Van Ryn to put a force at any base but they chose to pitch to her and paid the price when she crushed the ball to center for the cushion homer.

McKayla Armbruster struck out 14 batters and allowed three singles during the game while recording her 10th shutout of the year. In 258 innings pitched she has fanned 122 batters, has allowed 46 hits, 10 runs and 6 earned runs.

Cougars first batter in the order Haley Stockman had a single to start the fourth inning but was picked off third base by Van Ryn. Junior Sabrina Lehne hit a single to start the fifth inning but did not advance.  Catcher senior Hannah Bauman led the 6th inning with a single and was eventually thrown out at the plate.

Van Ryn signed her letter of intent to play softball in the fall at St. Thomas University before the game and showed why they wanted her during the game.  In addition to the homer she threw out a runner at second and a runner at third and tagged a runner out at home.

The Falcons made the most of their 4 hits in the game off Mankato East sophomore right handed pitcher Madie Clarke.    Armbruster had a two out single in the first inning.  In the second inning Lauren O'Neil walked with one out.   Abby Lake hit a single and they advanced to second and third on a wild pitch.  Lindsay O'Neil hit a grounder to third base and was retired.  Lauren O'Neil scored on a throw home, the ball got away from the catcher and Lake attempted to score also and was called out at the plate to end the inning.

Mankato East (9-6) has New Prague come to Mankato Monday, travels to Rochester Century Tuesday, hosts Red Wing Thursday and finishes their season on May 20 at Hutchinson.

Faribault (17-1) hosts #3 Class 3A ranked Northfield Tuesday in a game we will have on POWER 96 Radio, 95.9 FM and the POWER 96 app.  Next week is the final week of the regular season.  Then it's playoff time.