by Scott DCamp
Thief River Falls used a strong wind blowing straight out to center field to hit five home runs in 10-4 Section 8AAA softball second round win over Sartell Monday, May 29 at the Multi-Events Center.
Sartell entered the game on a five-game winning streak that included a 2-1 win over fourth seeded Sauk Rapids on Thursday. The Sabres chose to start freshman Riley Trobec instead of senior Tonya Paul.
The moved may have been based on a small sample size. Head Coach Carter Rogalla said that Trobec came in to pitch the last three innings the last time Thief River Falls played Sartell, with the Prowlers leading 9-0.
“I told them that we are the better team and that [Sartell] was going to throw a different pitcher, who may not be their best pitcher, because we’ve done so well against their starter,” Rogalla said. Rogalla also reminded his team to be patient at the plate.
Trobec may have had some playoff jitters. She walked leadoff hitter Allie Okeson to open the game and hit number two hitter Alexa Rogalla before retiring the next three batters to get out of the first inning jam.
Thief River Falls starter Alexa Rogalla retired the first five Sartell batters she faced. The Sabre’s number six hitter Madaline Thieschafer reached on an error and scored on a triple by Addy Demaine.
Trailing 1-0, Thief River Falls responded with a two-out rally of its own. Camryn Schwab reached on a fielders,’ choice moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Breanna Wienen, and scored on a two-run home run by Lexi Huot.
“Huoy’s was big, a big home run at the moment,” Carter Rogalla said. “They had scored a run and had two outs. She comes up with that big home run and now we’re ahead.”
Still in the bottom of the second but back at the top of the order, Okeson and Rogalla both singled and scored on a three-run blast by Kora Torkelson that made it 5-1 in favor of the Prowlers.
Schwab added a solo big fly in the third inning to make it 6-1 in favor of the Prowlers.
Three Sabre base runners crossed the plate in the top of the fourth inning to cut Thief River Falls’ lead to 6-4.
The Prowlers answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, with Rogalla securing her second base hit of the game and Torkelson hitting her second home run of the game to make it 8-4.
“Kora had a big game, a lot of good swings. We need that from our three hitter,” Rogalla said. “Overall, I thought our whole team had a lot of great swings.”
The Prowlers tacked on additional runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Huot singled, stole second, advanced to third on a single by Okeson and scored on an error. In the sixth, Kylea Praska hit a solo home run – the team’s fifth of the day – to take a 10-4 lead.
Alexa Rogalla pitched a complete game, giving up just one earned run while striking out four batters and keeping the wind from being a factor.
“I thought Alexa did a good job of pitching and keeping the ball down – there was maybe two balls hit in the air,” Rogalla said.
With the win, the Prowlers will host second seeded Alexandria at 5 p.m Wednesday. The winner will be one win away from a trip to the state tournament and will host the remaining games in the section tournament.
“We don’t have a whole lot on them,” Rogalla said. The last time we played them was last year in the section finals,” Rogalla said of the match-up with Alexandria. “I think they are a lot like us. They have some kids at the top of the lineup that can handle the bat well and they can run, and they have some kids in the middle of the order that can hit the ball out of the park.”
r h e
Sartell…. …………010 300 0 – 4 7 2
TRF…………………051 211 x – 10 11 3
Pitching – (Sartell) Riley Trobec – L, 6 IP, 11 hits, 10 runs, 10 earned runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts; (TRF) Alexa Rogalla – W, 7 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts.
Offensive highlights – (Sartell) Courtney Deters 1/4, 2 RBIs; Addy DeMaine 1/3, triple, RBI; (TRF) Alexa Rogalla 2/3, 2 runs, RBI; Kora Torkelson 2/4, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs; Lexi Huot 2/3, home run, 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs; Camryn Schwab 1/2, home run, 2 RBIs; Kylea Praska 1/3, home run.