Softball: Winona takes control in Section 1AAA

AUSTIN — Winona junior pitcher Ashton Hoeppner has used the same pitching style all season and it hasn't been a problem. Until the Class AAA, Section One softball tournament.

AUSTIN — Winona junior pitcher Ashton Hoeppner has used the same pitching style all season and it hasn't been a problem. Until the Class AAA, Section One softball tournament.

Hoeppner has had a number of illegal pitches called against her during section play at Todd Park in Austin. It was a bit of a problem on Wednesday during the winners bracket final against second-seeded Kasson-Mantorville.

Hoeppner was pulled from the game after 2 2/3 scoreless innings — and about a half dozen illegal pitch calls — against K-M. But the top-seeded Winhawks didn't miss a beat as freshman Annika Anderson came on and closed out a 3-1 victory. The win moved Winona into today's championship game. K-M bounced back later in the day to return to the championship game.

"She's one of the best pitchers in the state," Winona coach Scott Halvorson said of Hoeppner. "And she's only been called for illegal pitches here.

"But Annika's got good stuff," the coach added. "She came in and did a nice job."


Anderson collected the win by allowing just one run — a solo homer by K-M's Laura Kosberg in the fifth inning — on three hits over 4 1/3 innings. Anderson, a freshman, is now 5-0 with and ERA of about 1.00 this season.

"Both of their pitchers did a real nice job of location," K-M coach Paul Mann said.

Offensively, Winona (19-4) had one good inning against K-M senior right-hander Chante' Thome. The Winhawks broke through for three runs on three hits in the third inning. Katie Block's two-run double was the key hit.

"It was big, we rose up and got some runs there," Halvorson said. "Kasson's a good softball team, but we had one nice inning. We had some good at-bats, but she's (Thome) a good pitcher."

"It was just one inning," Mann said. "But you have to give them credit, they made things happen."

Winona's two pitchers made sure the KoMets didn't get to accomplish much offensively. K-M was held to four hits, but the KoMets also received a pair of walks and two hit batsman.

"We didn't get enough base runners to do the things we wanted to," Mann said.

K-M had a runner on in every inning, but just once did it manage more than one in an inning, That was a two-out single in the fifth after Kosberg opened the inning with her homer.


Winona now needs just one win today at Todd Park to earn a state berth while K-M would have to win two straight to earn another state berth. K-M had to beat Zumbrota-Mazeppa twice last year to win the Section 1AA title on a way to a repeat state championship. Today's play begins at 5 p.m.

Winona 3, Kasson-Mantorville 1

(Winners bracket final)



No. 1 Winona: Katie Block 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R; Rhiannon Reinardy 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 R; Selena Lor 2-for-3, 1 R; Mackenzie VanDeWalker 1-for-3; Ashton Hoeppner 1-for-3. Pitchers:Ashton Hoeppner 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; Annika Anderson (WP) 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.

No. 2 Kasson-Mantorville: Stephanie Meyer 1-for-3; McKenzie Hemann 1-for-3; Laura Kosberg 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R; Kendra Powers 1-for-3. Pitchers:Chante' Thome (LP) 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 1 K.

Kasson-Mantorville reaches title game


The KoMets bounced back nicely after falling to Winona to topple No. 6 Austin 11-1 in five innings in the loser-out title game. The victory put K-M into the section title game and ended Austin's season.

K-M (18-6) started quickly with four runs in the first inning and went on to collect 16 hits in just four innings of batting.

"We were raking it pretty good," Mann said. "We made some adjustments."

Mikayla Grant hit a two-run homer to highlight the first inning and she added a sacrifice fly in a two-run second.

Speedy lead-off hitter Katie Harrington had a huge game for the KoMets. The left-handed hitter was 4-for-4, scored three runs and also tripled in a run during a five-run fourth inning.

"Katie makes things happen for us every time she gets on base," Mann said.

Kosberg hit a two-run single in the fourth after collecting an RBI single in the first, and Stephanie Meyer added an RBI double in the big fourth.

"I thought we were relaxed, but we played with a sense of urgency," Mann said.


Kasson-Mantorville 11, Austin 1

(Loser-out title game)



No. 6 Austin:Brandi Myers 1-for-2; Jordan Huntley 1-for-2, 1 2B, 1 R; Taylor Derry 1-for-1, 1 RBI. Pitchers:Hannah Rasmussen (LP) 2 1/3 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; Tori Gardner 1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.

No. 2 Kasson-Mantorville:Katie Harrington 4-for-4, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 3 R; Meredith Wright 1-for-3, 2 R; Stephanie Meyer 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R; MiKayla Grant 2-for-2, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R; McKenzie Hemann 2-for-4, 1 R; Laura Kosberg 2-for-3, 3 RBI; Addison Murry 1-for-2; Kendra Powers 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 R; Chante' Thome 1-for-3; Elle Schultz 1 R. Pitchers:Chante' Thome (WP) 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 8 BB, 2 K.

Austin too much for Stewartville

Austin overcame an early 3-0 deficit by scoring the game's final 11 runs to win the loser-out semifinal 11-3 and eliminate Stewartville.


Austin collected 14 hits. Brandi Myers went 4-for-4 with a double for the Packers.

"The difference was they just hit the ball," Stewartville coach Kurt Hughes said. "The outhit us."

Winning pitcher Hannah Rasmussen limited Stewartville to six hits, including two by Allison Schmitz.

Austin 11, Stewartville 3

(Loser-out semifinals)



No. 5 Stewartville:Tara Rogers 1-for-4, 1 2B; Abby VanDeWalker 1-for-3; Kaitlyn Augustin 1-for-3; Erin Fischer 1-for-4, 1 2B; Allison Schmitz 2-for-3. Pitchers: Taylor Smith (LP) 4 2/3 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; Lauren Horstmann 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.


No. 6 Austin:Halie Retterath 2-for-4; Kelsey Sederquest 2-for-4; Brandi Myers 4-for-4, 1 2B; Adison Medgarden 2-for-5; Jordan Huntley 1-for-4; Shayley Vesel 1-for-4; Taylor Derry 1-for-4; Jaidyn Bastian 1-for-4. Pitchers:Hannah Rasmussen 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K.

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