Back row (L-R): Asst Coach Travis Kauffman, Rachel Pack, Brooke Zahnle, Isabel Woslager, Jaelynn Therring, Asst Coach Fred Kindschy, Jacinda Gustine, Olivia Matti, Morgan Burt, Jenna Jacobsen, Cela Carney, Head Coach Jana Wagner. Front Row (L-R): Kate Kruger, Maggie Streightiff, Kyal Heydt, Kelly Johnson, Alexis Dudycha, Carrie Rutledge, Caitlyn Hendrickson. Photo by Mary Nelson
By Mary Nelson
Hayfield came into the post season seeded #1 for 1A West and they've proved why after winning all three of their sub-section games in four innings; scoring a total of 50 runs and giving up only two runs. Their bats came alive at the right time and when it counted the most.
The Vikings first faced #8 seed Alden-Conger May 22, defeating them 18-0. Jacie Gustine went three innings on the mound for the Lady Vikes and then Caitlyn Hendrickson came in for the last inning to shutout Alden-Conger allowing no hits in the game. The pitchers got plenty of run support by their offense as well as a solid defensive game.
Stats: Hayfield had 18 hits in the game. Kyal Heydt smacked two home-runs in one inning. She had 5 RBIs on the day. Kate Kruger also had a home run in the game. B Zahnle 1-1,3B, RBI, 2R; J Jacobsen 3-4, 2B,4RBI, 3R; C Rutledge 1-1,3B,2RBI,3R; A Dudycha 2-2,2RBI,2R; M Streightiff 2-3,RBI,1R; K Kruger 2-2,HR,2RBI,2R; K Heydt 2-4,2HR,5RBI,2R.
On Wednesday, May 24 the Vikings hosted #4 seed JWP. The team started where they left of - swinging hot bats. Maggie Streightiff got the momentum going for the team after hitting a two run home-runs in the first inning. Kyal Heydt had her third home-run in the tournament with a two run blast in the second inning.
Eighth grader Jenna Jacobson has stepped it up at the plate moving into the #2 spot in the lineup with six hits in the last two games. She's a good one to have on the bases because she has great speed and she's an aggressive base runner.
She follows the speed and aggressiveness from the lead off batter Carrie Rutledge. If Carrie's on the bases, it's a sure bet she's going to be stealing.
Coach Wagner went with Caitlyn Hendrickson as the starting pitcher against JWP. Caitlyn is an 8th grader that's been getting some playing time on varsity but played JV most of the season. That's a lot of pressure for an 8th grader but if Caitlyn was nervous, it didn't show. She was pitching a no hitter until the 4th inning as well as a shutout.
Stats: Hayfield had 13 hits in the game. J Jacobsen 3-4,2B,4RBI,3R; C Rutledge 1-2, RBI,1R,BB; M Streightiff 2-2,HR,2RBI,2R,BB; K Kruger 1-3,RBI,2R; K Heydt 2-3,HR,2B,3RBI,2R; O Matti 1-1,R,BB,HBP; K Johnson 2-3,2RBIs,R; A Dudycha 0-2; C Hendrickson 1-2,R,HBP; B Zahnle 0-1; J Therring BB, C Carney 0-1; J Gustine BB,R; M Burt 0-1,RBI Pitching: C Hendrickson 4IP, 1H,1R,1ER,4BB,3K,1HBP.
On Friday, May 26 Hayfield faced #3 seed Blooming Prairie in the Subsection Championship game at Todd Park in Austin. The two teams haven't seen each other this season but Blooming Prairie has been a spoiler for Hayfield in the past in post season play.
Caitlyn Hendrickson started on the mound again for Hayfield. Blooming Prairie got a runner on base in the first inning but then Hendrickson came back with a couple strikeouts to get out of the inning.
Blooming Prairie's pitcher Elly Strunk started out with a strikeout and then a walk to Jenna Jacobsen. Kyal Heydt hit into a fielder's choice for the second out. After two swinging strikes, Maggie Streightiff hit a double to left field to score Jacobsen. Olivia Matti got a hit during her at bat. Kelly Johnson went down swinging but the catcher dropped the ball.
What looked like the end of the inning resulted in being the beginning of a two out rally for the Vikings. The catcher threw the ball over the head of the first base woman's head which scored two runs.
Kate Kruger kept things going with a hit that scored two more runs putting the Vikings up 5-0. Jacie Gustine also got a hit.
After striking out in her first at bat, Carrie Rutledge redeemed herself by putting the ball over the right field fence for a three run home run to put the Vikings up 8-0.
Hayfield came back to score four more runs in the second inning to keep the game out of reach for the Awesome Blossoms but there was lots of game to play yet. Blooming Prairie started the third inning off with a hit which would result in their only run.
After Hendrickson retired three batters in a row in the fourth inning, Hayfield's offense came through with four runs to end the game in four innings with a 16-1 final score to crowning them the Sub-Section Champs!
Kate Kruger hit in the first run after getting a hit to center-field. Then with bases loaded, Jenna Jacobsen hit a triple that brought in three runs to end the game. Hayfield had 13 hits in the game.
Talking to Caitlyn Hendrickson after the game, she said she doesn't get nervous on the mound when she's pitching. The main reason is because her team is swinging hot bats and scoring runs and the defense has been behind her.
Hayfield is two wins away from making their third trip to Class A State. They will face Section 1A East champ Mabel-Canton on Tuesday. Hayfield beat Mabel-Canton 13-8 in their tournament but they only went 5 innings due to a time limit.
The #1 seed Randolph and #3 seed Goodhue from the East were knocked out in the first round. Hayfield heads into Section play with a 16-6 record.
Stats: C Rutledge 1-4,HR,3RBI, 2R; J Jacobsen 1-3,3B,3RBI,R,BB; K Heydt 0-3; M Streightiff 1-2,2B,RBI,2R,BB; O Matti 3-3,2B,3R; K Johnson 0-3,R; A Dudycha 2-3,SB; K Kruger 2-3,3RBI,3R,SB; J Gustine 2-2,2B,RBI,2R,HBP; C Hendrickson 4 IP 3H 5K 1ER