by Collin Rutkowski / @CRutkowski37 / email@example.com (Photo : Collin Rutkowski)
After a remarkable season for the Huskies, posting a record of 43-16 (22-8 NSIC), they would head to Rochester to look to make some noise in the NSIC Tournament.
St. Cloud State came into the tournament as the #4 seed. They would face the 5th seeded Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks to open play.
The Huskies would open up a 5-0 lead through 3 innings before Mankato would come back and take the lead off an Amber Kral 2-RBI single and would go on to top of the Cardinal and Black, 6-5.
With the loss to Mankato, St. Cloud would head to the elimination bracket and face Minot State in the night cap. Minot would put up 5 runs in the top of the 2nd. In the bottom half of the inning, Megan Conrads and Cassie Fransesconi would each drive in 2-runs and tie the game back up at five. St. Cloud would then 12 batters to the box and put up 9-runs in the bottom of the 4th and the Huskies would win in five innings, 14-5.
Heading into Friday, St. Cloud would play the 10-seed Sioux Falls Cougars in a game that would go into extras. Emmie Uitts would hit a 3-run bomb in the 6th for USF to knot thigs up at 5. The Huskies strand Brooke Bowlin in the 9th but in the 10th it would be Alexis Jacobs with the walk-off single to keep their season alive.
The Huskies would move on to play the 6 seeded Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears and it would be an unexpected starter for the Huskies. Senior Pitcher Bradi Yost would return from injury and would go 3-innings in her return allowing three runs. Jasmin Estrada would go 2-3 with 2 doubles and 3-RBI’s in the 5-3 win and advance them into Saturday against the #1 seed, the Winona State Warriors.
The NSIC Player of the Year Lani Van Zyl would hit a 2-run homerun in the first inning and Winona State would have a 3-0 lead. The Huskies would come back and get 2-runs in the top of the 2nd to make it 3-2. Winona would add another run in the third and would go on to win 4-2 and end St. Cloud’s run in the NSIC Tournament.
St. Cloud would have to wait until Monday to know if they were going dancing, or if their season was over.
Huskies Softball fans would be going dancing as they received an at large bid and the #7 seed in the NCAA Central Region Tournament. This is the first time the team has made the NCAA Tournament since 2004.
They will face a familiar foe in Winona State at 1 p.m. on Thursday who are the host team and earned the #2 seed in the region after going undefeated in conference play this year.
Games can be heard live on 88.1 FM KVSC with myself, Collin Rutkowski, on the call or here online at kvsc.org.