Knights defeat Raiders

SLEEPY EYE — Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Knights earned its first win of the Section 2A playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Nicollet Raiders in softball action on Thursday.

The Raiders fell in the shutout to the Knights after Nicollet defeated Springfield 12-2 in five innings, earlier in the day on Thursday.

Leah Weiss delivered a seven-inning shutout from the pitcher’s circle and didn’t allow a Raider runner to reach scoring position.

Nicollet’s defense held the Knights in both the third and fourth innings when St. Mary’s put runners 60 feet away from breaking the 0-0 tie. Raiders pitcher Hayley Selby pitched out of the jam, in the third when the Raiders defense caught the Knights at home plate on the squeeze play.

Selby took the loss for the Raiders giving her team six solid innings from the circle.

The Knights kept the pressure on in their half of the fifth inning when Kya Krzmarzick ripped a two-out double into center field reaching scoring position. The Knights looked for offense when Sara Zinniel dropped a bunt with two outs and reached for the single to keep the inning alive. Zinniel advanced as the Raiders made the play to keep the runner from reaching home.

Lauren Hoffmann drove in the two runs with a single into center as the Knights went ahead 2-0 all with 2-outs in the fifth.

Zinniel led the Knights at the plate going 1 for 3 and reaching on a fielder’s choice and scored one run. Hoffmann went 1 for 3 with two RBIs and Krzmarzick went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice in the third inning and one run scored.

Marah Hulke was 1 for 3 at the plate for the Raiders and Anna Holmin produced the other hit for the Raiders with a single.

The Knights with play in the winner’s bracket at 10 a.m. on Saturday in North Mankato at Caswell Park.

Nicollet will also play on Saturday at 10 a.m. facing elimination from the 2A tournament.