by Dave Pedersen
Sun PRESS Newspapers
Delano entered the Section 5AA playoffs Friday in full force, winning the last three regular season games last week when outscoring opponents 35-3.
The nine first-inning runs scored in the 13-3 victory over Hutchinson were all earned. The Tigers blasted 17 hits as a warm-up for the playoffs the next day.
There was no letting up when Delano shut out Brooklyn Center 13-0 to open play in the West sub-section Friday. Pitcher Katie Vatnsdal hurled a one-hitter in five innings, striking out eight batters.
Five of the Tiger hits went for extra bases, including two home runs, a triple and two doubles. Makenna Giese and Maggie Rizor both had home runs and drove in three runs. Sam Noetzelman tripled and Mackenzie Maxwell and Kalley Koch both doubled.
Earlier in the week Delano shut out New London Spicer 10-0, paced by a five-inning three hitter by Vatnsdal. Noetzelman and Katy Kalleberg both hit home runs, Savanah Bettin tripled, Giese doubled, Anna Wischmann went 2 for 3 and both Rizor and Katie Emmer was 2 for 4.
Next came a 12-0 blanking of Glencoe-Silver Lake. Giese allowed four hits in five innings, striking out five. The 12-hit attack was paced by Noetzelman going 3 for 3 with a triple and home run. Emmer was 2 for 3, driving in three runs. Driving in two runs each was Kelsey Delisle, Rizor and Vatnsdal. Brooke Lemke added a double.
Against Hutchinson, Giese yielded six hits. Emmer was 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Collecting two hits each including Noetzelman (both doubles), Bettin, Rizor, Vatnsdal, Maxwell and Koch.
“The girls are becoming more consistent on hitting,” said coach Teresa Spurzem. “Our defense also has gotten much stronger. We went in this week like it was the start of playoffs, so we are ready for when they started on Friday.”
Spurzem said it seems strange after only playing three weeks of games to be in the playoffs. Giese and Vatnsdal have alternated on the mount and the plan will continue in the double elimination format of the playoffs.
“This entire team is talented and that is the reason why we are doing so well this year,” adds the coach. “Kalley Koch has filled in at short stop after Ellie Rizor was injured.”
Contact Dave Pedersen at firstname.lastname@example.org