Eagles abound at the 2013 MSHSL State Softball Tournament in Mankato Thursday and Friday, June 6 and 7, as the Eagles of Eden Valley-Watkins battled the New York Mills Eagles and the New Life Academy Woodbury Eagles, in their quest for the number one title. Falling just short of the state championship game, the Eden Valley-Watkins softball team put on a great show for the fans at Caswell Park in Mankato last week. The girls took the opening game on Thursday, June 6, against a formidable New York Mills team, 4-2. Losing a tough battle to New Life Academy of Woodbury in the afternoon game, 6-4, the Eagles fought back on Friday morning, June 7, to defeat the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Fighting Saints, 7-2, and take the Third-Place trophy. The 2013 Eagles saw the best year in the history of the program, posting an overall record of 16-5 and placing third in the state tournament. EV-W coach Dave Dziengel is proud of his team and very appreciative of the overwhelming support. “On behalf of me and my coaching staff, we would like to thank all of the parents, fans, EV-W Lions, the booster club, the administration, media, and everyone that took time out of their schedules to come and watch us play for two days in Mankato. We really appreciate it and we feel fortunate to have such loyal fans.”
The early morning quarterfinal game v New York Mills was exciting from start to finish. Eden Valley-Watkins rallied from a 2-0, third-inning deficit with three runs in the fourth inning and a run in the fifth, to move past New York Mills and earn the right to take on New Life Academy of Woodbury, in the afternoon session. A two-run single by Mickael Lies and a run-scoring single by Jamie Scherer gave the Eagles three runs in the fifth, and Holly Schumacher hit a homer in the sixth. Autumn Roberts drove in both New York Mills runs with a two-run single in the third.
Eden Valley-Watkins box score v New York Mills: Baylee Lahr, 1 for 4; Jamie Scherer, 1 for 4, RBI; Kaylee Forcier, 1 for 3; Holly Schumacher, 1 for 3, run scored, RBI; Brook Stang, 2 for 4; Mickael Lies-Thielen, 2 for 4, run scored, 2 RBI; Briana Plantenberg, 1 for 4; Faith Forcier, 2 for 4; Mindy Forcier, 2 for 4, run scored.
The 3 p.m. game v New Life Academy of Woodbury was a heartbreaker for the Eagles. The NLA-Woodbury Eagles scored twice in the bottom of the first to take the lead before the EV-W Eagles tied it up with two in the top of the fourth. The Academy struck again in the fifth, plating four runs off four hits. All six runs New Life scored were unearned. Eden Valley rallied in the seventh, scoring twice but their championship dreams disappeared with the final out.
Eden Valley-Watkins box score v New Life: Baylee Lahr, 2 for 3, run scored, RBI; Jamie Scherer, 0 for 2, run scored; Kaylee Forcier, 0 for 2; Holly Schumacher, 1 for 3, run scored, RBI; Brook Stang, 0 for 3; Mickael Lies-Thielen, 0 for 3; Briana Plantenberg, 1 for 3; Faith Forcier, 0 for 3; Mindy Forcier, 2 for 3, run scored, RBI.
The third-place matchup featured the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles and the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Fighting Saints.
The Eagles got a gem from Baylee Lahr, allowing just one earned run in seven innings and stranding eight runners, to secure the win. EV-W scored first with a run in the top of the first. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg tied the game in the bottom of the inning, but the Eagles were just getting started. Holly Schumacher singled and scored in the three-run top of the third, then she served up an encore in the fourth, with a two-run round tripper, giving Eden Valley-Watkins a commanding 7-1 lead. KMS would pick up a run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little, too late.
Eden Valley-Watkins’ box score v KMS: Baylee Lahr, 1 for 4, RBI; Jamie Scherer, 2 for 4, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI; Kaylee Forcier,
0 for 3; Holly Schumacher, 4 for 4, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI; Brook Stang, 2 for 4, run scored, RBI; Mickael Lies-Thielen, 0 for 2; Briana Plantenberg, 1 for 4; Faith Forcier, 0 for 3, RBI; Mindy Forcier, 1 for 2, run scored.
For the second year in a row, the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles softball team earned a shot at the State tournament. In 2012, they were State Champions. In 2013, they took third. The 2013 Eagles include (in roster order) Breanna Stang, Baylee Lahr, Jamie Scherer, Mickael Lies, Faith Forcier, Holly Schumacher, Brook Stang, Lexi Klatt, Briana Plantenberg, Mindy Forcier, Ashley Huschle, Kaylee Forcier, Sarah Pauly, Tina Streit, and Kali Covert. Dave Dziengel is the head coach. Photo courtesy of Amanda Garding.