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New Ulm players celebrated at the end of the game after winning the Class 2A championship. (Marlin Levison, Star Tribune photo)

– Strikeouts don’t matter to New Ulm’s pitching staff. Behind the arms is a defense that has been steady all year and the Eagles’ eight position players showed that in Friday’s Class 2A championship game at Caswell Park.

The Eagles defense didn’t allow a run against offensive-minded Kasson-Mantorville to earn New Ulm its second consecutive state championship with a 1-0 victory.

“We have a lot of faith in everyone,” catcher Kali Denn said, whose double led to the only run of the game in the fourth inning.

The faith was evident in the final half-inning of the title game. Kasson-Mantorville’s Dana Rasmussen doubled with one out and advanced to third on Hanna Sheeran’s sacrifice. The runner in scoring position didn’t worry the Eagles, though. Pitcher Sydney Schuck got the Komets’ Abbie Overton to pop out to close out her complete game without striking out a single batter.

Entering this championship game, the two teams had scored a combined 33 runs.

“I knew we had to stay tight with defense,” Schuck said. “They had to make plays behind me and they were great.”

 

JASON GONZALEZ

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