Krull's heroics lifts John Marshall

AUSTIN — Katie Krull looked like Kirk Gibson limping around the bases on Tuesday night.

Of course members of the John Marshall softball team may never have heard of Gibson. But Rockets coach Thang Nguyen was more than happy to tell them about Gibson after Krull delivered a dramatic walk-off home run to lift top-seeded JM past Hastings 9-8 in eight innings of a Class AAA, Section One elimination softball game.

It was JM's second victory of the day, the first being a 9-8 comeback win over Mayo, and lifted the Rockets into the section title game against second-seeded Farmington.

JM scored two in the bottom of the seventh to tie Hastings and then Krull, hobbled by injuries to both her knees, pulled a home run over the fence in left with one out in the bottom of the eighth.

Krull is the ultimate team player, but she certainly enjoyed her walk-off blast.


"It was really cool, I'm not going to lie," Krull said. "It made my life."

After the game the JM players were educated about Kirk Gibson. He was the injured Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder who limped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Gibson hit a two-out, two-run pinch-hit homer to lift the Dodgers past Oakland and paved the way for a Los Angeles championship.

"I told the girls about Kirk Gibson," Nguyen said. "And these kids? They just keep battling back."

Nguyen also compared Krull to a certain superhero. The senior is batting close to .600 this year despite not being able to run very well. She has two torn ligaments in one knee and dinged up the other one playing basketball on Monday.

"If you lift up her jersey there might be an 'S' under there," Nguyen said, in reference to Superman.

JM senior Sarah Eckerman was getting ready to pinch run for Krull if she got on base. But Eckerman knew she wouldn't have run to when she Krull's swing.

"It was awesome," Eckerman said. "I knew it was a home run right off the bat."

It was Krull's third homer of the season, and by far her biggest.


"We have that can-do attitude," Krull said. "The thing is if one person gets down the next person picks them up. We're like a family."

JM now faces Farmington in the section finals on Thursday in Austin. The Rockets need to win two straight games to earn a state berth.

Ko-Mets, Bloosoms in charge

The Section One events in Class A and AA were also held at Todd Park in Austin on Tuesday.

In Class AA, Kasson-Mantorville beat Spring Grove/Caledonia 5-0 to move to the section title game. Freshman Madison Damon threw a two-hitter and struck out 13.

K-M now faces Winona Cotter on Thursday and needs just one win to advance to state.

Blooming Prairie emerged as the team to beat in Class A. The Blossoms beat Lewiston-Altura 2-1 in eight innings to reach the section title game. The Blossoms will face Chatfield in the section finals on Thursday and are just one win from a state berth.

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