The Southland Rebels softball team, the No. 2 seed in the Section 1A East tournament traveled to Wabasha/Kellogg High School Thursday for a matchup with the No. 1 seeded Falcons, and it was the Falcons moving into the winners bracket final with a 10-4 win.
The Rebels held a 1-0 lead after a half-inning, but the Falcons answered with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, and they added two more runs in the third to take a 6-1 lead. Southland tried to rally off of Falcons pitcher Sophie Graner with two runs in the fourth and another in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit to 6-4, but Wabasha/Kellogg answered with four in the bottom half of the inning for the 10-4 final score.
Offensively in the game for Southland, Riana Ulven belted a solo homer in going 1 for 2, Kiyanna Meyer and Olivia Matheis were both 2 for 3 with a RBI and Bailey Johnson was 1 for 2 with two runs scored. The loss put the Rebels up against No. 3 seed Rushford/Peterson in the second round of the elimination bracket, and this time it was the Rebels prevailing by a score of 10-7.
Southland trailed 1-0 after a half-inning, but they rallied with three of their own runs in the first, one in the third and four big runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 8-1 lead. After the Trojans cut into the lead with four in the top of the fifth to make the score 8-5, the Rebels had an answer with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to boost their lead to 10-5. Rushford/Peterson tried to rally with two runs in the top of the seventh, but they would get no closer as pitcher Laney Weis and the Southland defense held them off the rest of the way for the win.
Bailey Johnson registered a huge game offensively for the Rebels by going 2 for 2 with a pair of home runs, three RBI’s and three runs scored, Hattie Wiste also belted a home run in going 2 for 3 with a RBI, Riana Ulven was 2 for 4 for the game with three RBI’s, Kiyanna Meyer was 2 for 3 with a pair of runs scored, Olivia Matheis went 1 for 3 with a triple, two runs knocked in and another scored, Lynsey Wilson was 1 for 3 with two runs scored and Lauren Nielson went 1 for 2 with a RBI.
Weis picked up the win in the circle for Southland by pitching all seven innings and giving up the seven Trojan runs, four earned on nine hits, fanning 11 and walking four.
The Rebels are now 13-8 on the season, and the Section 1A tournament now shifts to Austin’s Todd Park next Tuesday, May 31st when they will take on Faribault/Bethlehem Academy, the No. 2 seed from Section 1A West in the elimination bracket semi-finals at 5:00 p.m. The Cardinals elminated the Hayfield Vikings at Tood Park on Thursday by the score of 4-2. The winner’s bracket final next Tuesday will pit Wabasha/Kellogg against Waterville-Elysian-Morristown also at 5:00 p.m. next Tuesday, with the winner being the lone undefeated team in the double-elimination tournament.