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Class 2A State Softball: Cardinals advance to consolation final

Staples-Motley catcher Mackenzie Holst prepares to tag a Hawley runner in the Class 2A state softball quarterfinals Thursday in North Mankato. Joseph Denton/Forum News Service

NORTH MANKATO — Quinn Uhlman started it all.

The Staples-Motley Cardinals third basemen hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning to ignite S-M to a 3-2 consolation semifinal victory over the Hermantown Hawks Thursday in the Class 2A state softball tournament.

Uhlman’s homer was followed by a two-run fifth inning for the Cardinals.

Nikki Edin singled to center, Kelsey Zetah doubled down the line to sore Edin and Uhlman singled in Zetah for a 3-0 Cardinals lead.

Megan Vetsch then hung on. The S-M starting pitcher allowed two unearned runs in the sixth inning. Then in the seventh she struck out the first batter she faced and forced Hermantown’s Macy Francisco to ground out to Uhlman for the win.

Vetsch finished with the one strike out. She didn’t walk anyone and allowed just two hits and the two unearned runs. S-M committed four errors.

Uhlman was 3-3 with two RBIs and the run scored. Lisa Kossan, Edin, Vetsch and Zetah accounted for S-M’s other hits.

■ Hawley 6, Staples-Motley 3

Nikki Edin walked to start the bottom of the seventh inning and Kelsey Zetah’s double drover her in, but that was the end of the Cardinals’ rally in a 6-3 quarterfinal loss to Hawley in the Class 2A state tournament Thursday.

Zetah finished 1-3 with two RBIs and Lisa Kossan was 2-3 with a run and an RBI for the Cardinals.

Hawley scored a pair of runs in the third and fourth inning to take a 4-0 lead.

The Cardinals rallied with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Megan Vetsch was hit by a pitch to open the inning and scored on Kossan’s double. Kelli Klein and Kaleigh Hosier walked to load the bases and Zetah walked to score Kossan and make it 4-2.

The Nuggets scored two more runs in the top of the seventh.

S-M’s Vetsch was tagged with the loss. She struck out six and allowed six runs on nine hits and three walks. Only one of the runs was earned, however, as the Cardinals committed five errors.

Hawley’s Jody Noreen pitched the win. She struck out five, walked five and allowed three runs on four hits.

Consolation semfinals

Hermantown 000 020 0 — 2 2 0

Staples-Motley 000 120 0 — 3 7 4

Hermantown: Kylie Hoff and Brooke Dahlin.

Staples-Motley: Megan Vetsch and Mackenzie Holst.

WP: Vetsch.

LP: Hoff.

2B: SM-Kelsey Zetah, Vetsch

HR: SM-Quinn Uhlman

SB: H-Allison Samberg

RBIs: SM Uhlman 2, Zetah 1; H-Kailey Mihalik

DP: H 1

LOB: SM 5, H 5

State Quarterfinals

Hawley 002 202 0 — 6 9 0

S-M 000 200 1 — 3 4 5

Hawley: Jody Noreen and Jolene Kerr.

Staples-Motley: Megan Vetsch and Mackenzie Holst.

WP: Noreen.

LP: Vetsch.

2B: H-Noreen, Rio Permenter 2; SM-Kelsey Zetah, Lisa Kossan

SB: H-Lauren Teigen; SM-Kelli Klein

RBIs: H-Brittany Laddusaw, Noreen, Haley Cederberg, Permenter 2; SM-Zetah 2, Kossan

LOB: H 10, SM 7