The Knights graduate a solid group of seniors, but return a nice core of young talent for next season.
Knights senior Cassie Heinrichs delivered two home runs for four RBIs in their first contest at Caswell Park Saturday morning, May 25. The Knights wasted little time in taking a lead. St. Mary’s used a five-run first to take a 5-0 lead over the Clippers in the bottom of the inning.
Cleveland responded with one run in the top of the second, but the Knights proved too much for the Clippers. St. Mary’s added runs in the fourth inning and then Heinrichs hit her second homer of the day to extend the Knights lead in the bottom of the sixth to 8-2 for an eventual final score, forcing Cleveland to the elimination bracket.
Heinrichs finished the day going 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs while also scoring two runs. Leah Weiss was 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI. Weiss also pitched all seven innings and allowed two earned runs with six strikeouts.
NU Cathedral 8
In what was a classic rivalry matchup, the Greyhounds snuck past the Knights on a walk-off home run from Cathedral’s Lauryn Franta.
The Knights got on the board early as Emily Stevens drew a walk with the bases loaded to score Lauren Hoffmann, who singled down the line to begin the inning.
In the second inning, Madison Mathiowetz led off with a walk, moving over to second on a sacrifice bunt and later scored on a safety squeeze, sliding into home head first to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. The Greyhounds later took a 3-2 lead on a base hit from Josie Pautzke.
The momentum swung back into the Knights when Cassie Heinrichs doubled to left field. Leah Weiss followed with a base hit up the middle to tie the game at 3-3. Emily Stevens returned to the plate and singled to keep the rally going. Stevens later scored on a Cathedral error to give the Knights a brief 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Franta continued to be a pain in the side of the Knights. Franta singled, scoring Cathedral’s Abby Furth and Lily Brennan to regain the lead at 5-4. Franta later scored in the inning on a sac fly from Heidi Hoffman, giving the Greyhounds a 6-4 lead going into the top of the seventh.
Leah Weiss gave the Knights a base runner with a good at bat to draw a walk. Sydney Windschitl then entered the game for Weiss as a courtesy runner for the Knights. Down to their final out, pinch-hitter Madesen Roberts parked a pitch over the left field fence for a two-run home run to tie the game at six a piece.
The Greyhounds took advantage of a Knights error in the field in the bottom of the inning to get things started. The Knights’ Leah Weiss retired the next two batters to set the stage for Lauryn Franta.
Franta drove an outside pitch over the right-centerfield wall and the Greyhounds defeated the Knights 8-6 in walk-off fashion.
Lauren Hoffmann was 1-for-3 for the Knights with one run scored. Sara Zinniel was 2-for-4 and led the Knights in hits.
Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey 12
After defeating Sleepy Eye Public 12-9, the Wolverines of Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey defeated St. Mary’s to the tune of the same score in the elimination game in the Section 2A softball bracket.
The Knights rallied and clawed their way back and gave themselves an opportunity late in the game as they entered the sixth inning trailing 9-3. The comeback was all for not however, as the Knights fell short 12-9, ending their season.
The Knights season ends with an overall record of 18-5. The Knights lose a group of seniors that displayed leadership and playing the game the way it is supposed to be played. Like many other groups of seniors, the Knights will miss them. Graduating from the Knights softball program are Sara Zinniel, Cassie Heinrichs, Alexa Owens, Callie Bohnen, Gabby Helget, Lexie Anderson, Leah Weiss, and Emily Stevens.
Juniors Lauren Hoffmann and Madesen Roberts will be counted on to lead a Knights team that will be much younger next season, but with current underclassmen Maddie Mathiowetz, Reagan Severson, and Sydney Windschitl in addition to Kya Krzmarzick, the Knights look to retain their position near the top of the Tomahawk Conference next season.