The West Central Area Knights softball team dropped a West Central Conference doubleheader to the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Tigers to close out the regular season 12-5.
The Knights earned the No. 2 seed in the Section 3AA-North playoffs. They will host No. 7 Minnewaska Tuesday, May 23, in Barrett. With a win, WCA would host the winner of No. 6 New London-Spicer and No. 3 Dassel-Cokato and would have secured double elimination play, which means the Knights would be guaranteed a game Saturday, May 27, in Marshall.
The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta clinched its ninth consecutive West Central Conference title with a sweep of West Central Area Thursday, May 18, in Barrett.
The Knights, who averaged 4.2 errors per game prior to their doubleheader against MACA, suffered from eight errors in game one.
The Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 lead before WCA could get on the board with a RBI triple by Lily Mahoney in the fifth.
Claire Stark sent MACA down in order in the bottom of the frame, and the Knights trimmed the deficit to 6-4 in the sixth. With two outs and runners on second and third, Izzy Puchalski drove in Ava Lohse for the first of the inning’s three runs. Then Brinley Ulrich reached on an error, which scored both Puchalski and Madison Fagre.
MACA responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame and another three in the seventh for the final 13-4 score.
Addison Staples led the Knights at the plate, going 2-for-3. Alaina Sykora also added two hits.
Stark took the loss in the pitcher’s circle. She pitched three innings in relief and gave up seven unearned runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four.
Lily Mahoney started the game for WCA and struck out eight in four innings of work.
West Central Area gave up 13 runs in a single inning and fell 21-9 to Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta in game two Thursday, in Barrett.
Both teams had three errors in the game while MACA out-hit WCA 16-9.
The Knights jumped ahead 5-1 after 1.5 innings. WCA tied the game at 1-1 on a Zoey Fuhrman RBI single to left field before back-to-back RBI singles and a two-run homer by Addison Staples gave the Knights a 5-1 lead.
MACA trimmed the deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the frame, but the Knights pushed the lead back to two on an error in the third.
The Tigers used two walks and two hits to score three runs to take an 8-6 lead, this time for good as they followed up the inning up with 13 in the fourth.
Alaina Sykora had two hits, three RBIs and two runs for the Knights, who are 13-5, going 9-3 in conference. Addison Staples, Madison Fagre and Zoey Fuhrman also added two hits each.