By Tom Murphy
Spring Grove/Caledonia’s Samantha Bratland shut out La Crescent, GMLOK, and finally Winona Cotter to lead her team to the Class AA East Sub-Section title last week. The Lions competed in the double elimination section tournament last week at Austin.
Lions 10-run Lancers
SG/C 10-runned rival La Crescent in the first game at Caledonia last Thursday. Bratland went the distance allowing just one hit and issuing only two walks in the five inning game as the team played errorless ball. She struck out 10 Lancers throwing 48 strikes of her 72 pitches.
The Lions carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth when an eight run explosion ended the game. Amanda Heberlein and Cara Stemper each had two RBIs. Marie Doering, Lottie Augedahl and Stemper each scored two runs.
The top three batters in the order had seven of the team’s 10 hits. Doering had three hits while Augedahl and Heberlein each had two hits. No Lion had more than one hit and all of them were singles.
On Saturday, Bratland two hit Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander/Kingsland. She walked five and struck out 13. Wildness was an issue for the freshman Bratland as she had six wild pitches. Again, her defense played without an error.
The Lion offense was about as efficient as it could be with only nine base runners in the 3-0 win.
Augedahl led the attack with a two for three day, including a double. Shannon Doering, Bratland and Marie Doering went one for three with Shannon Doering having the team’s only RBI.
Shut out Winona Cotter
A 5-0 win for the sub-section title over traditional powerhouse Winona Cotter was a fitting conclusion to the tournament. The Lions scored in three of the six innings that included a big three run inning in the fourth.
Bratland had her third straight shutout as her team again played errorless ball. She threw eight strikeouts, issued no walks and had just one wild pitch.
Besides the strong pitching by Bratland and the stout defense, it could have been a larger victory margin as the Lions stranded nine runners in its eight-hit attack. The team also earned five walks while Cotter made one error.
Taylor Elton and Stemper went one for two at the plate. Stemper and Heberlein, who went one for three, each had two RBIs. Amber Betz was two for three. Marie Doering and Kayla Krueger were one for three.