OAKDALE - The Brainerd Shockers 14-U girls' softball team lost 9-3 to the St. Paul North Polars and was eliminated from the Northern Zone American Fast-pitch Association national tournament Saturday.
After winning their pool by defeating Apple Valley and Forest Lake on Thursday, the Shockers advanced to the Gold Division and lost their first two games in the double-elimination tournament. The first loss was against Osseo/Maple Grove on Friday. The second was to St. Paul North on Saturday.
St. Paul North Polars 9,
Brainerd Shockers 3
The Polars took a 1-0 lead in the first when their leadoff hitter doubled and advanced to third on a sacrifice before their clean-up hitter drove in the run with a two-out single.
In the top of the second, with one out, Karlie Manton hit the second batter and walked the next two to load the bases. Shockers coach Tracey Manton then replaced Karlie Manton with her sister, Chelsie.
Chelsie Manton pitched Brainerd out of a jam when the next batter lined to shortstop Emilee Branum for the second out. She got a forceout when third baseman Alicia Haag stepped on third after snagging a grounder.
Brainerd tied the game in the second. Della Gramer reached on a one-out base hit, stole second and scored on Kylee Kunde's two-out single.
St. Paul scored two more runs in the top of the third on two Brainerd errors and a pair of hits.
In the top of the fourth, the Polars had consecutive doubles and a single before their fourth hitter of the inning popped out. The next hitter smacked a three-run double for a 6-1 St. Paul lead.
Karlie Manton then relieved her sister and walked the first batter she faced before striking out the final two to end the inning.
Brainerd added a run in the bottom of the fourth when Jenni Smolke singled and scored on Tarissa Laughton's triple. With one out, Della Gramer was thrown out at first and Laughton was thrown out at home trying to score on the same play.
The Polars added three runs in the top of the sixth on four hits.
Brainerd scored in the bottom of the sixth. Jayda Frazer led off with a double, was sacrificed to second by Jenni Smolke and scored on Emilee Branum's single.
Jayda Frazer finished 2-for-3 and Jenni Smolke, Della Gramer and Kylee Kunde all went 1-for-2.
Brainerd ended with seven hits, left only one runner on base and committed two errors.
St. Paul North finished with 11 hits, left 11 runners stranded and committed no errors.
Karlie Manton faced 23 batters in four innings, gave up five hits, struck out three, walked five and hit one batter while giving up four runs.
Chelsie Manton faced 15 batters in two innings, struck out none, walked one and hit one batter while giving up five runs.
St. Paul North's pitcher faced 22 batters in six innings, gave up seven hits, struck out three, walked none while giving up three runs.
The Shockers (37-4-1) host a doubleheader Tuesday night against St. Cloud Tech Black to finish the season.
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