SLEEPY EYE - After a tough outing on Tuesday against Minnesota Valley Lutheran New Ulm Cathedral freshman pitcher Leah Krzmarzick grew up in a hurry on Thursday against Sleepy Eye St. Mary's.
Krzmarzick looked like a completely different pitcher, getting ahead in the count early and finishing off batters, letting her defense make the plays behind her. She helped lead the Greyhounds to a 5-1 victory over the second-seeded Knights in the Section 2A, North Subsection playoffs.
The loss sends the Knights (14-5) to the elimination bracket and they will play Springfield (10-8) at 10 a.m. Saturday at Caswell Park. The Greyhounds (14-4) are still unbeaten in tournament play and will face top-seeded Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity (15-2) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s shortstop Larissa Helget tags out New Ulm Cathedral’s Abby Hauser at second during the Greyhounds’ section 2A playoff win Thursday in Sleepy Eye.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Krzmarzick gave up five hits and one run in seven innings. She struck out four.
"I just was relaxed more and I just let the defense do the work," Krzmarzick said.
"I don't know, she was getting ahead of the batters and the wind was against her," Cathedral coach Bob Mertz said.?"She was struggling all year and getting behind and she was able to use her change-up effectively today."
Maddy Helget took the loss for the Knights. She went the distance and allowed five runs on 10 hits.
Paige Pautzke scored three runs and had three hits for the Greyhounds. MacKinnon Ehlenz had three hits for the Greyhounds and Janessa Rothmeier added two hits.
"Our hitting hasn't been totally on like it was early in the season, so I think we were all due for the big hits, and those came through," Pautzke said.
The Greyhounds got on the board in the top of the first inning after Pautzke and Abby Hauser both reached on an error to start the game. Karlee Pfaff grounded out to first to score Pautzke to make it 1-0.
Cathedral nearly added to the lead in the second but Ehlenz was thrown out at the plate to end the inning after a base hit by Pautzke.
The Greyhounds added another run in the fifth inning when Pautzke doubled and scored on another double by Hauser.
The Greyhounds caught a break in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Ehlenz singled and Rothmeier followed with a single to right. Ehlenz rounded second and got back to the bag, but she was initially called out and it appeared the inning was over.
The ruling was overturned because it was later ruled that Ehlenz was pushed off the base. The Greyhounds took advantage and Pautzke delivered an RBI to make it 3-0. Hauser then followed with a two-run single for the 5-0 margin.
The Knights got a run in the bottom of the sixth when Karissa Fleck doubled to score Larissa Helget.
The Greyhounds play LP/HT, a team that beat Springfield 10-0 on Thursday. With everyone healthy, the Greyhounds are hoping for another deep playoff run.
"It's really comforting to know that we don't have any losses but we can't sit back to expect to win," Pautzke said.