Greyhounds run back to finals

Staff photo by Ari Selvey Jenna Hotovec, left, hugs Ava Brennan after she scored the game-winning run against Springfield on Saturday in a Section 2A Softball Tournament quarterfinals game at Caswell Park in North Mankato. Also pictured front and center is Kiah Helget and Alexa Hornick (right, 10).

NORTH MANKATO — New Ulm Cathedral’s second game on Saturday was much easier than its first as it rolled by Martin County West 12-0 in five innings in a Section 2A Softball Tournament semifinals game at Caswell Park.

The Greyhounds had previously gone 10 innings to defeat Springfield 6-5 earlier in the day, but they managed to maintain their energy for the second game and come away with a convincing victory.

“Obviously we were really excited after that big win [against Springfield],” Cathedral’s Kiah Helget said. “So I think we just took that energy with us to the game against MCW.”

Abbey Hillesheim got the win for Cathedral against MCW, striking out six while allowing two hits and one walk. At the plate, Helget was 2 for 2 with a triple, a home run, five RBIs and three runs scored, while Ava Schmid was 2 for 3 with a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored. Jenna Hotovec added a hit and two RBIs.

Hillesheim issued two strikeouts in each of the first three innings to keep the Mavericks out of the scoring column. Helget got the Greyhounds on the scoreboard first, drawing a walk and stealing second before Hotovec brought her in with a single. Helget sent a line drive over the center-field fence in the third inning for a three-run homer to put the Greyhounds up 4-0.

“We had runners in scoring position, and I knew I needed to get an RBI,” Helget said.

Jaylin Hartness added another run in the third on a double by Alexa Hornick to give Cathedral a 5-0 lead.

The Greyhounds had another big inning in the fourth, with a triple by Helget bringing home Ava Krueger and Schmid before scoring herself on an error. In the bottom of the fifth, Schmid got a triple to bring home Megan Haala, Krueger and Ava Brennan to walk the game off.

Cathedral now sits one win away from a return trip to the state tournament and will play the winner of the elimination bracket on Thursday.

“We’re definitely going to have to bring our A-game,” Helget said. “And we’re going to have to understand that we need to get ahead right away. We can’t let teams score on us first.”

The elimination bracket finals will take place Tuesday at Caswell Park. Springfield will play United South Central at 5 p.m. Tuesday, with the winner of that game playing MCW at 7 p.m. that same night. The winner plays Cathedral Thursday.

In Cathedral’s first game against Springfield, Jayde Altermatt got the win, striking out two while allowing eight hits on six walks in 10 innings. Schmid was 3 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Helget was 2 for 5 and Ava Brennan had a double and the game-winning score.

Jalivia Richert took the loss, striking out seven while allowing eight hits and five walks in 10 innings. Jada Reese was 2 for 4 with two runs scored, while Richert was 2 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs.


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