New Ulm 18U battles back to 2nd-place finish
NEW ULM — After a sluggish performance Saturday, the New Ulm 18U softball team picked itself up en route to a second-place finish at the Windmill Classic.
The New Ulm 18U team beat New Ulm 16U 9-4 in the quarterfinals before beating Cardinal Power 18U of Fairmont 8-0 in the semifinals. From there, it held a two-run lead late but eventually fell to St. Peter 18U 8-5 in the championship game to take second on Sunday at Harman Park in New Ulm.
On the day, New Ulm 18U scored 22 runs in its 2-1 stand, which improves upon its 20-run 1-2 performance on Saturday.
“I was very happy with our bats,” New Ulm 18U coach Jill Berdan said. “They did very well in terms of just putting the bunt down, slapping, our hitters hitting to places where nobody was, advancing the runners — and that’s what they needed to do.”
The 18U team got off to a slow start in the first game as it allowed New Ulm 16U to take a 3-0 lead without recording an out. Emma Bute was pulled for Jordan Stahl, who got the win in both the first and second games on the day.
Stahl allowed just one run to New Ulm 16U — a solo home run by Madeline Gag that bounced off the glove of the right fielder over the fence in the top of the sixth inning.
Otherwise, New Ulm 16U was pretty much stifled.
“We got base runners, but we had a hard time getting the key hit,” New Ulm 16U coach Kevin Forstner said. “That really the story of the game.”
Noelle Forstner led the 16U team with two leadoff hits, Madison Portner had two hits and one RBI and Abby Furth had two hits. Taylor Forstner got the loss in the circle for New Ulm 16U.
Against New Ulm 16U, Kayla Brandes had two doubles and three runs scored, while Kaila Brudelie had three hits, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Stahl and the 18U defense shut out Cardinal Power, backed behind Camryn Schiro’s three-hit, three-RBI performance.
“We knew we could beat Fairmont,” Berdan said. “We just had a few errors yesterday that we knew we needed to fix. We needed to get our offense going a little bit faster and add runs every inning. Our defense was more solid today.”
In a championship game that was moved ahead by an hour by mutual agreement from both coaches, New Ulm 18U struck first with RBI singles from Schiro and Bute. Kaila Brudelie batted in Lauren Schueler in the second to give New Ulm 18U a 3-1 lead.
After St. Peter tied it 3-3 in the bottom of the third Schiro and Bute again delivered in driving in Brandes and Brudelie to give New Ulm 18U a 5-3 lead in the top of the fourth.
However, Stahl broke down and allowed five runs in the bottom of the fourth in what sealed the game for St. Peter.
Brandes was 4 for 4, while Bute had three hits with two RBIs and Schiro had two RBIs. Brudelie had three hits and one RBI.
Both Madison Suess and Signey Stoesz were absent from Sunday’s games with off-field obligations.
NU 16U 300 001 — 4
NU 18U 203 022 — 9
NU 18U 401 21 — 8
CPower 000 00 — 0
NU 18U 210 20 — 5
SP 18U 111 50 — 8