Softball: NY Mills earns state berth the hard way
PELICAN RAPIDS — It took three wins in one day, but the New York Mills Eagles softball team ran the table and swept their way to a second consecutive state berth defending their 6A title and punching a ticket to Mankato.
Parkers Prairie awaited the Eagles with an undefeated berth in the 6A championship game after defeating Frazee 11-6 in the subsection final. Frazee defeated NY Mills 8-6 in the subsection semis forcing the Eagles to play Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale to stay alive Tuesday.
The Eagles did so by the slimmest of margins taking the Pirates out 3-2 which set up Thursday’s first game - a rematch with Frazee to face Parkers Prairie in the title game.
The winner would have to beat Parkers Prairie twice to advance to state.
New York Mills made it look easy.
The Eagles got rid of the jitters quickly when the top four in the lineup Autumn Roberts, Rhiana Roberts, Lydia Irons and McKenna Roberts all scoring for a quick 4-0 first inning lead. Irons had a two-RBI single for the big hit of the inning.
Autumn Roberts got the pitching victory and held the Hornets at bay allowing two runs on only four hits.
The Eagles added a run in the second and three in the fourth inning to insure the victory. All eight runs were scored by the top four in the lineup as the Eagles advances with an 8-2 victory.
Parkers Prairie got hit by Eagle scoring barrages as NY Mills left little doubt in both games to claim the 6A crown.
NY Mills erupted for 10 runs on 11 hits to win the opener 10-2. McKenna Roberts had three RBI; Irons had two. Autumn Roberts picked up another pitching victory with six solid innings allowing the two runs on seven hits. Rhiana Roberts cleaned up the seventh inning in a no-save situation.
Autumn Roberts, Rhiana Roberts, Irons and Leann Flanigan all had two hits each. Rhiana Roberts led the team with three stolen bases. The Eagles flew around the basepaths collecting eight steals in the game.
In the final, NY Mills again built themselves a comfortable cushion scoring seven of their eight runs in the first inning.
Autumn Roberts, Rhiana Roberts, Irons, McKenna Roberts, Flanigan, Kaitlyn Kane, and Sidney Imsande all scored.
The lead was plenty for the arm of Autumn Roberts who picked up her third pitching victory of the day throwing all seven innings, allowing two runs, none earned, in a section-clinching one-hitter.
The Eagles stole another eight bags in the game, three by Kane, making a trio of wins look much easier than the difficult task it is.
NY Mills (21-4) will face New Ulm Cathedral (23-1) at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 5 at Caswell Park in North Mankato in the opening round of the state tournament.