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Section 5A softball: Five-run first leaves Osakis in driver's seat

Eric Morken, Echo Press Mercedes Klimek connected for one of her two home runs against Upsala in the Section 5A West title game last week. Klimek continued to hit the ball hard in the section semifinals, belting a home run in the sixth inning that helped secure a 9-6 win over Isle on Tuesday.

If the Osakis softball team had any nerves going into the Section 5A semifinals, they were settled after just one inning on Tuesday night.

The Silverstreaks scored five runs in the bottom of the first to take a 5-0 lead. They never trailed after that on their way to a 9-6 win over Isle that put them into the 5A title game last night.

"That allowed us to settle in any nerves we may have had and play ball," head coach John Stigman said of that first inning. "We took advantage of the errors they made with a couple of very timely hits."

Isle came in undefeated at 19-0, so Osakis knew the Huskies would battle back. They did that with two runs in the top of the second and three more in the fifth.

The Silverstreaks added two-run innings in the fourth and sixth to make sure that wasn't enough. Mercedes Klimek put the game away in the sixth with a home run. She finished with two hits and three RBIs. Janna Juntunen added a big two-RBI double in the first, while Tonya Hetland and Lauren Silbernick both added two hits and an RBI.

That made a winner out of Sabrina Zimmel. She scattered five hits and three walks. Only one of the six runs she allowed was earned as she struck out seven along the way.

"Sabrina pitched well, working out of a couple jams," Stigman said. "She pitched well with the lead, making them swing the bat. Defensively we made a couple errors but also made a couple very nice plays to stop any further rallies."

The end result was a rematch of last year's Section 5A title game. This time it was Osakis that went in with the advantage after advancing through in the winner's bracket. Barnum made it through as the East runner-up. The Bombers needed two straight wins last night in St. Cloud to keep Osakis from earning its first softball state tournament berth in school history.


ISLE 020 030 1 - 6 5 5

OSAKIS 500 202 X - 9 8 2

OSAKIS PITCHING - S. Zimmel - W, 7IP, 5H, 6R, 1ER, 3BB, 7SO

OSAKIS HITTING - Mercedes Klimek - 2-4, HR, 3 RBI; Tonya Hetland - 2-3, 1 run, RBI; Janna Juntunen - 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Lauren Silbernick - 2-2, RBI; Alex Anderson - 1-3