Softball: Osakis' rally against second-seeded Pierz falls short
The Silverstreaks made their Section 6AA playoff opener close, but the 17-3 Pioneers withstood a 4-run sixth inning by Osakis to move on.
PIERZ — The Osakis softball team had a tough task in the Section 6AA playoff opener on Monday as the 15th-seeded Silverstreaks went on the road to face second-seeded Pierz.
Osakis stayed within striking distance through the late innings after a four-run sixth cut its deficit to 6-4. But Pierz (17-3) added one more in the bottom of that inning and shut the door in the seventh for a 7-4 win that ends the Silverstreaks’ season.
“Our goal was to hang around long enough to give ourselves a chance to win,” Osakis head coach John Stigman said. “They were the favored team and the pressure is on them to win. In that situation, if you just keep hanging around, things can turn and momentum can shift quickly. We hung around long enough to make it a game late in the game.”
Hayleigh Niehoff pitched her final game in an Osakis uniform. The senior went all six innings, allowing the seven runs on 11 hits and 6 walks, while striking out one. She faced a Pierz offense that averages 9.2 runs per game.
The Silverstreaks could not generate enough offense with just four hits in the game. Lexi Klimek had two of those and an RBI, while Maggie Dirkes singled and drove in a run, and Taylor Dirkes doubled.
“We struggled with our bats but made some good defensive plays when we needed them,” Stigman said.
Osakis ended its season with a 5-12 overall record on a team that featured a mix of veterans and young players getting their first taste of bigger roles on varsity. Niehoff, Kennedy George, Kali Schoeck, Klimek, Shelbe Schmidt, Lara Drum and Averie Mounsdon were seniors.
“We will miss our seniors,” Stigman said. “They have been extremely dedicated to our program and their teammates. They are just flat out good people.”
OSAKIS 000 004 0 - 4 4 1
PIERZ 200 221 X - 7 11 2
OSAKIS PITCHING - Hayleigh Niehoff - 6IP, 11H, 7R, 7ER, 6BB, 1SO
OSAKIS OFFENSE - Lexi Klimek - 2-3, 1 run, RBI; Niehoff - 0-3; Maggie Dirkes - 1-3, RBI; Shelbe Schmidt - 0-3; Charlee Thieschafer - 0-3; Kennedy George - 0-3; Taylor Dirkes - 1-2, 2B, BB, 1 run; Josee Hartshorn - 0-1, BB, 1 run; Kali Schoeck - 0-1, BB, 1 run