Faribault pitcher McKayla Armbruster retired the final 20 batters against Bemidji in the Class 3A quarterfinals, striking out 17 and pitching the 37th no-hitter in the history of the MSHSL state softball tournament. Photo by Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Spo
Making its first state tournament appearance, top-seeded Faribault unseated defending Class 3A state champion Winona 7-1 Thursday to reach Friday’s title game at Caswell Park in North Mankato.
Falcons junior catcher Abby Van Ryn hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning for a 6-1 lead over the Winhawks.
“I just kept my hands back and was ready,” Van Ryn said.
Faribault pitcher junior pitcher McKayla Armbruster looked ready too, striking out six batters in the first three innings. She also answered Winona’s lone run with a strikeout to end the fourth inning.
The Falcons led 3-1 at that point from runs in the third inning when Winona fielders ran into each other twice. Winhawks junior catcher Lauryn Hamernik said it shocked them. Winona (18-6) had allowed an average of 1.474 earned runs per game heading into the tournament.
“That’s very rare,” Hamernik said about the mistakes.
Faribault had reached the semifinals with an 8-0 victory over Bemidji (16-7) earlier in the day. Winona had defeated Rocori (21-5) by a score of 2-1.
Making its first state tournament appearance, Faribault ousted defending Class 3A state champion Winona 7-1 on Thursday to advance to the title game Friday at Caswell Park in North Mankato.
Faribault got a two-run home run in the fifth inning to take a 6-1 lead.
The Falcons (21-2) will face the winner of Hill-Murray and North Branch for the championship.
Check back later for more on the game.