July 23, 2009 at 8:21 a.m.

U14 team performs well in state tournament

U14 team performs well in state tournament
U14 team performs well in state tournament

The Chisago Lakes U14 girls softball team had an exciting run over the last two weeks.

Playing in a state qualifier tournament in White Bear Lake, the girls placed second out of 25 regional teams to move onto the state tournament.

In the first game of the regional tournament, the girls won 11-1 over Tartan. In the second round, the offense kept chugging along with an 18-4 victory over Mahtomedi. In their third game, the Wildcats downed Eagan by a tally of 6-0.

They dropped their first game of the tourney in the fourth round when they went down 4-1 against host White Bear Lake.

In the double elimination tournament, they went on to play Eagan again for the right to face White Bear in the finals. The girls beat Eagan again, squeaking out a 5-4 victory. In the championship round, the Wildcats had to beat White Bear Lake twice to win it all, and they looked well on their way to at least one win with a 4-1 lead late in the game, but they struggled late and WBL took advantage for a 6-5 win.

In the state tournament, the girls started behind the eight ball after losing to Prior Lake in the first round. The game was frustrating because Prior Lake scored seven of their eight runs in one rough inning.

The Wildcats chiseled that lead down to one at 8-7, and had the tying run on third with two outs in the last inning, but couldn't quite get her home.

In the lower half of the bracket, the girls dominated North St, Paul en route to a 13-5 victory.

The Wildcats followed that up with a tense game against Cambridge White.  After the teams played to a 6-6 tie after the hour and ten minute time limit, they moved to international rules.

What that means is that each time got a half inning with a runner on second and zero outs, and they had to see how many times they could score.

Cambridge got one run in during the first half inning, and only an appeal by Head Coach Ric Schommer prevented another run when a Cambridge runner failed to stay at the bag until the ball was caught in a tag up situation.

In their half of the extra innings, the Wildcats scored their first run quickly to tie the game, and then a Cambridge error and two hits later, the Wildcats were moving on. Taylor Schoenecker got the game-winning hit for the 'Cats.

The exciting win closed out Saturday for the Wildcats, but they returned to action first thing Sunday morning against Eastview.

The Wildcats had played Eastview earlier this year and dropped the contest 6-2, so they were looking for revenge in this game.

Bryanna Fernstrom assured them of a victory with her pitching performance. Because of the time limit, the girls only played five innings. In those five innings, Fernstrom faced 15 Eastview batters, striking out 13 of them. The Wildcats ended up winning by a margin of 4-2.

In the losers bracket, teams have to play back-to-back-to-back on Sunday, and in the second game, the Wildcats just ran out of gas according to Schommer.

Playing Buffalo, Fernstrom was too worn out to pitch and they jumped all over the Wildcats early and finished with a 9-1 win.


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