Tricounty News

Kimball 14U girls take second in state

By Mary Libbesmeier, coach

The 14U Kimball Softball team participated in the Class D State Tournament this weekend held in Monticello. There were 11 teams in the double-elimination tournament.

Kimball's first opponent was Becker, and after a delayed start to the game, Kimball came out and scored one run in each of the first two innings and exploded for

10 runs in the third inning to end the game by the run rule of 12-0. Emily Utecht pitched all three innings, striking out six batters. The next opponent was Monticello, and again Kimball's bats stayed hot while also taking advantage of some errors, and marked 6 runs in the second inning. Kimball scored another run in the third inning, and four more runs in the fourth inning. Lauren Libbesmeier pitched all five innings and held Monticello to three runs on three hits for an ending score of 11-3. Kimball moved on to play MN Dynamite. Kimball scored two runs in the first inning and another run in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead through the game. Kimball's defense and pitching were solid, holding them to only scoring one run in the fifth inning. Kimball added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, and held on to secure the win by a score of 5-1. The pitching duties were shared by Lauren Libbesmeier, striking out four batters in four and one-thirds innings, and Madi Libbesmeier striking out two batters in one and two-thirds innings.

Kimball prepared to play its fourth game of the day in the semi-final round facing Detroit Lakes. These two teams battled, and Kimball threatened with base runners every inning of the game, but the game remained scoreless until the fourth inning. Kimball led off the inning with a single from Becky Holtz, and Amanda Roerick walked. The runners advanced on a pass ball. Tashi Kunkel earned an RBI on a ground out to first base, and Lauren Libbesmeier knocked in the second run on a base hit. Kimball's defense and pitching remained strong and allowed only three base runners in the game. Madi Libbesmeier controlled the mound, striking out

14 batters and not allowing any walks in the seven inning shutout. Kimball advanced to the championship, beating Detroit Lakes 2-0.

On Sunday, July 29, being the undefeated team, Kimball needed to wait and see who came through the losers' bracket to find out who their opponent would be. Detroit Lakes beat Perham to work their way back to the championship round. Kimball jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Detroit Lakes answered back taking advantage of an error and scored a run to bring the score

2-1 after two innings. Detroit Lakes added another two runs in the third. Kimball scored one run in the sixth, and Detroit Lakes secured the win with two runs in the top of the seventh. Kimball threatened to score every inning of the game, but couldn't get the hit with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners during the game. Kimball played solid defense and Kimball's catcher Ariel Laabs threw out two runners stealing second base during this game. Kimball lost the game 3-5. Madi Libbesmeier pitched all seven innings striking out five and giving up two walks.

Because of being the undefeated team, Kimball needed to lose twice so the team moved on to the second championship game. Again, both teams battled offensively with Detroit Lakes, scoring 1 run in the top of the first inning and Kimball, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning for a score of 2-1. Detroit Lakes scored

4 runs in the third inning and Kimball countered with two runs of their own and finding themselves down by one run with a score of 4-5 after three innings. Kimball competed every inning defensively and offensively but Detroit Lakes was able to make the defensive plays in clutch situations and came through with five more runs through the rest of the game. Kimball never gave up and added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough and lost 6-10. Lauren Libbesmeier took the loss, striking out six batters and walking one. Kimball proudly earned second place in Class D State Tournament!

This team has improved their skills and game play, taking it to the next level over the course of the summer. The record for the season was 31-5. The players on this team are: Bailey Berscheid, Anna Donnay, Becky Holtz, Shay Krippner, Tashi Kunkel, Ariel Laabs, Lauren Libbesmeier, Madi Libbesmeier, Katelynn Loehrer, Hedy Robben, Amanda Roerick, Alexa Ruehle, Montana Tschida, and Emily Utecht. The team is coached by Mary Libbesmeier, Rhonda Libbesmeier, and Shannon Miller.