Worry turns to relief for Norwood Young America in a come-from-behind victory.
By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 06/06/19, 4:00PM CDT
The Raiders will play Rochester Lourdes, a 2-1 victor over Pipestone, for 2A title
Photo gallery: Class 2A semifinal, Norwood Young America vs. Thief Rivers Falls
For awhile, it was exactly what the Norwood Young America faithful feared.
Their dream season looked in jeopardy. The senior-dominated Raiders had won 24 games behind a player, Sadie Erickson, who set a state-record for home runs in a season with 20. It was their first state tournament appearance, yet they had been so impressive, they earned the No. 1-seed in Class 2A.
But Thief River Falls led 5-2 into the fifth inning of the semifinal game. NYA fans were getting jittery, furrowing their brows, pacing and rocking back and forth. Tension even began to rise in the dugout.
But their growing dismay turned to relief when the Raiders (25-2) scratched out a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, then unloaded for six more in the sixth, turning a three-run deficit into a 9-5 victory.
Abby Mackenthun’s two-run single to right field drove in the game-tying and game-winning runs. It was the type of hit she’d imagined since she began playing softball.
“I just took a deep breath and swung,” Mackenthun said through a smile that enveloped her face. “It was a dream come true.”
In the other semifinal, Anna Taylor threw a four-hitter as Rochester Lourdes edged Pipestone Area 2-1.
The Eagles scored single runs in the third and sixth innings to give Taylor all the support she needed. Elizabeth Pike had two hits, and drove in the final run with a double.
In the quarterfinals, Norwood Young America crushed Esko 14-1, Rochester Lourdes outscored Annandale 8-6, Thief River Falls edged Le Sueur-Henderson 4-3 and Pipestone Area shut out Concordia Academy 4-0.