Morris girls participate in 16U Class C State Tournament
The Morris 16U girls' softball team competed with 17 teams from around the state in the Class C state tournament on July 25 and 26 in St. Cloud.
"The team played extremely well," said coach Mike Weatherly. "The outfielders did a great job. Shadow Olson made some great catches in centerfield and Hannah Sayles and Megan Mecklenburg played solid in left and right.
"Dani Schultz was a standout at catcher," added Weatherly. "She kept the ball in front of her and only gave up one stolen base. She does a great job shutting down a team's running game.
"Haley Henrichs made a lot of great plays at shortstop and Holly Amundson (2B), Olivia Reimers (3B), and Jaimie Bergerson (1B) all played solid at their positions.
"MacKenzie Weatherly did a great job carrying the pitching load," he said. "She had good location with all her pitches and kept the walks to a minimum.
"All the girls hit the ball well."
The team was led by Schultz, who is always a tough out, Henrichs and Reimers.
"This tournament was a great experience for these girls and they had a lot of fun," Weatherly said. "They faced some really good pitchers and it showed them if they play their best they can compete at this level of competition."
Grand Rapids 2
In the first game Morris took on a tough Grand Rapids team and one of the tougher pitchers in the tournament. The Grand Rapids pitcher gave up only four hits (Schultz (2), Henrichs, and Reimers), struck out 13 and walked two.
Grand Rapids took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on three hits and scored another lone run in the third.
Weatherly went the distance in the game giving up two runs, four hits, striking out nine, and walking one.
"Schultz and Henrichs hit the ball hard," said Weatherly. "We played very well defensively, but just did not put the ball in play very much and did not have the opportunity to score any runs."
In game two the Morris team started sluggish and fell behind early. The Jackson team pushed two runs across in the first inning on an error and three hits. Jackson scored an unearned run in the fifth on an error and a hit.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Morris bats came alive and erupted for seven runs on seven hits. Sayles started things out with a single followed by a single by Schultz. Henrichs hit a hard ball at the shortshop which was too hard to handle. Reimers reached on an error by the catcher and Sayles scored. Bergerson slapped a single scoring Schultz and Henrichs. Weatherly grounded out to third to plate Reimers. Amundson hit a single scoring Bergerson. Mecklenburg hit the gap with a triple scoring Amundson and Sayles slugged a double plating Mecklenburg.
Sayles started the game pitching two innings and Weatherly picked up the win pitching five innings of relief while striking out 10.
"The girls played well defensively and the bats caught fire," said Weatherly. "The girls did a great job staying in this game until the very end and did not give up when they fell behind.
Morris received a bye in the loser's bracket.
Sleepy Eye 4
In game four Morris defeated a very tough Sleepy Eye team.
The game was scoreless until Morris scored five runs in the top of the fourth taking advantage of walks and some timely hits. Weatherly started the inning with a walk, and advanced to second and third on passed balls. Amundson walked, Mecklenburg struck out, and Olson walked to load the bases. Sayles grounded into a fielder's choice. Schultz lined a single into center to score Amundson and Olson. Henrichs singled to score Sayles and then stole second. Reimers came up with a big single to plate Schultz and Henrichs.
Sleepy Eye came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a walk and a couple of hits. They also scored a single run in the fifth on a solo home run to cut the Morris advantage to 5-3.
Morris plated an insurance run in the sixth on a single by Schultz, a passed ball, and another single by Reimers.
Sleepy Eye started a rally in the bottom of the seventh with a couple singles and scored a run. They had runners in scoring position when Sayles came up with a big play. A Sleepy Eye batter singled to left with a runner on second and Sayles came up with a strong throw to cut down the runner at the plate for the second out of the inning. Weatherly then struck out the next batter to end the game.
"The team did a great job winning this game and playing solid defense while making some tough plays," said coach Weatherly. "Sayles came up with a great throw in the bottom of the seventh."
Seven players came up with hits in this game with Reimers going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Schultz going 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
Weatherly went the distance for the win giving up four runs, three earned, scattering six hits while striking out 10.
"This was a great team win against a very tough opponent and was a great game to watch."
On Sunday morning, a good hitting Stewartville team ended Morris's state title hopes.
Stewartville pushed a single run across in the second on a walk and two singles and in the fourth broke the game open with six runs. They scored a solo run in the fifth to end the game by the eight-run rule.
Schultz and Reimers collected the only two hits during the game.
Weatherly took the loss pitching five innings, giving up eight runs, three earned, 10 hits and fanning five.
"We played well defensively until the fourth inning when we made a few errors attributing to that big inning."