Faribault Softball Ends Season Against New Ulm
The New Ulm Eagles made some great adjustments at the plate and flew away from the Faribault Falcons 7-0 in Section 2AAA play tonight. The Falcons went the final 14 innings of their season without scoring a run. In 4 games they scored a grand total of 5 runs. 4-0 win over Hutchinson to start the tournament last Thursday. 1-0 win over New Ulm last Thursday. 4-0 loss to Mankato West Saturday and then the 7-0 defeat to the Eagles.
Last Thursday Faribault senior pitcher McKayla Armbruster struck out 15 New Ulm batters and allowed one hit. Tonight the Eagles hit for the cycle as a team while connecting for 9 hits and cut their strikeouts nearly in half with 8. Armbruster had one walk last Thursday and allowed 3 walks today.
Give New Ulm all the credit for taking more compact swings, using Armbruster's power to get the ball in the gaps and executing a better bunt game. The Falcons had just two hits when they faced Eagles senior right handed pitcher Ashlyn Donner last week. The walk off homer by Armbruster was the difference in their 1-0 win.
Faribault had a chance to score early with runners and first and second and nobody out in the first inning. Abby Lake started the game with a walk. Lauren O'Neil was moved into the number two spot in the lineup and delivered a single. Donner then struck out Armbruster swinging, Abby Van Ryn looking and Ellie Knutson swinging. Try as they might that had to deflate the Falcons.
Armbruster had 3 strikeouts the first time through the order and there were no New Ulm runs. Cleanup hitter Madeline Gag cracked a double to start the top of the second and was sacrificed to third base by catcher Abby Lee. The Eagles had Nora Windshill attempt a bunt while sending the runner from third base. O'Neil charged in to catch the pop up and easily threw Gag out trying to get back to third to end the inning.
With the game still scoreless and two outs in the bottom of the third inning Faribault's O'Neil collected her second single in as many trips and went to second base on a throwing error. On the first pitch of the Armbruster at bat O'Neil took off for third base and was easily thrown out at third. It appeared Armbruster may have been asked to bunt for a hit but didn't connect with the ball.
In the top of the fourth inning after back to back strikeouts Armbruster had Gag in a 0-2 hole. She threw a riser that didn't rise high enough and Gag punched it over the fence in right center to give New Ulm the only run they would need. 1-0 was the score.
In the bottom of the 4th inning following a strikeout Van Ryn executed a perfect bunt for a hit but the next batter struck out. Lauren Steinberg then slapped a single putting the tying run at second base. Lindsay O'Neil hit a liner back to the pitcher that Donnor slowed down enough for the second baseman to field and get her out at first to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth inning Windschill led with a double to the gap and was sacrificed to third base. Number 8 hitter for New Ulm Ellie Bute, on a 2-2 count was asked to execute a suicide squeeze to get the second run in and she did. Armbruster fielded the bunt and threw the ball home. It was a close play but the umpire said the runner was safe. Following a pop out for the second out the Eagles got a 2 RBI single from lead batter Joey Batt and a triple off the bat of Carli Botten. Armbruster struck out the next batter but New Ulm was ahead 4-0.
The Eagles got a lead double by Gag in the 6th inning. She was sacrificed to third base. Then a walk to Windschill. During the next at bat Van Ryn tried to pick the runner off second base and the throw went into center allowing the runner from third to score the 5th run. An RBI single got another run across the plate for a 6-0 score and the Eagles scored another run in the seventh when the inning started with a two base error by the Falcons.
After two outs New Ulm catcher Abby Lee hit a RBI single with two strikes to make it 7-0.
Donnor finished the game with 12 strikeouts, had one walk, scattered 7 hits with only one inning with multiple hits allowed. The senior heading to a junior college in Florida to play softball threw 103 pitches, 78 for strikes.
Armbruster finished the game with 134 pitches thrown, 93 for strikes.
The Falcons ended another terrific season. The defending State Champion Faribault team had 3 total losses. Two to Mankato West and the last game against New Ulm.
The eight seniors were named our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game. Armbruster, Van Ryn, O'Neil, Knutson, Zoe Morrissey, Lexi Velander, Steinberg and Katelin Vogt.