Miscues hurt New Ulm 18U in 1-2 day at Windmill Classic

Staff photo by Jake Calhoun
New Ulm 18U first baseman Madison Suess makes a catch for the third out in foul territory in a 9-6 loss to St. Peter Thunder in the third game of pool play for both teams at the Windmill Classic softball tournament on Saturday at Harman Park Field 3.

Staff photo by Jake Calhoun New Ulm 18U first baseman Madison Suess makes a catch for the third out in foul territory in a 9-6 loss to St. Peter Thunder in the third game of pool play for both teams at the Windmill Classic softball tournament on Saturday at Harman Park Field 3.

NEW ULM — A few different plays here or there and the New Ulm 18U softball team could have entered Sunday with a winning record.

But New Ulm sank to 1-2 during pool play of the Windmill Classic on Saturday, having lost to Cardinal Power of Fairmont 5-4 before beating Buffalo 10-6 and losing to St. Peter Thunder 9-6.

“We had our ups and downs,” coach Jill Berdan said. “First game, we should’ve had. We had a couple errors that got in the way of us, but hopefully we learn from them and come back and learn from our mistakes. We’ve got to learn that we can’t give up.”

New Ulm recruited some out-of-town talent to pitch this summer. Jordan Stahl just completed her junior year at Martin County West, while Signey Stoesz was a talented multi-sport athlete at Mountain Lake Area who graduated in 2016. Sierra Williamson, who was absent on Saturday, also pitches on the team and just graduated from Martin County West.

Jill Berdan said the addition of these girls was to provide depth in pitching alongside Kayla Brandes and Emma Bute, both of whom did not pitch much during the school season for New Ulm High School.

Stahl got the loss in the circle for New Ulm in Game 1, having tallied six strikeouts. Kaila Brudelie was 2 for 3 in that game.

New Ulm struck early and often against Buffalo with four runs in the first inning with RBIs from McKenna Berdan, Camryn Schiro, Madison Suess and Emma Bute.

McKenna Berdan’s knee collided with the knee of the opposing first baseman in the first inning, causing a frightening moment that required her to be helped off the field. However, she toughed it out and returned to the game by the third inning to play catcher.

Stoesz got the win in Game 2 with two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Brandes pitched the final 2/3 of an inning.

Suess led New Ulm in Game 2 with three hits and two RBIs, which included an RBI double in the third inning that scored McKenna Berdan. Brandes and Schiro each had two hits apiece.

“It was nice to get some different pitchers in and things like that — worked things around,” Jill Berdan said. “They did well batting offensively.”

In Game 3, New Ulm took a 2-0 lead after two innings before allowing four runs to St. Peter in the top of the third. Emma Bute had a big two-RBI single after an RBI single from Suess to give New Ulm the lead 5-4 in the bottom of the third.

However, St. Peter responded with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to essentially put the game out of reach.

Bute got the loss in five innings of work, having allowed all nine runs. She also had a team-high three hits in the game, while Schiro had two hits and two RBIs.

New Ulm 18U will play at 11 a.m. Sunday at Harman Field 3 against New Ulm 16U. The winner advances to the 16U/18U semifinals against No. 2-seeded Cardinal Power at 12:30 p.m. at Harman Field 3.

“We’ll come out and give it our best and that’s all we can ask for at this point,” Jill Berdan said. “We’ll play hard on defense and get our bats going on offense.”

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