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South Washington County adapted softball: 'Bolts one game away from state tournament

South Washington County's adapted softball team rolled into today's postseason opener on a four-game winning streak, claiming the CI South division's second-place honors after beating Burnsville 7-4 on Monday, May 14, and New Prague, 14-3, last Wednesday. Dakota United (8-0), the only team to defeat the Thunderbolts this season, was the division championship.

The 'Bolts faced stiff competition last Monday, May 14, as the league's third-place finisher, Burnsville (6-2), took an early 2-1 lead. South Washington County answered in the third inning, however, tying the game at 2-2 and inching ahead until the seventh inning, when two more scored runs gave the 'Bolts their final, three-run lead.

"It was a tight game all the way through," said Thunderbolts coach Denny Larson. "It could have gone either way."

Alice Liu and Lucas Coy both went 3-for-4 at the plate, with Liu hitting a double and scoring two runs and Coy contributing two RBI. Tristan Rankin and Jared Dike went 2-for-4, with Rankin hitting a double. John Stutelberg was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Thomas Jarosiewicz was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Winning pitcher Amanda Henderson gave up eight hits in seven innings, fanning two and walking none.

"She's doing pretty good out there," Larson said of Henderson. "She's been hit quite a few times, so it's been a tough position to play. But she's hanging in there. She's learning how to be a strategic pitcher. She's learning how to switch things around."

Last Wednesday's game was won in six innings, despite a 2-1 New Prague lead after the first inning. It wasn't until a four-run hitting spree in the third inning that the Thunderbolts took an uncatchable lead and held New Prague scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Dylan Kubitschek led the 'Bolts in their second victory over New Prague this season, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two doubles. Stutelberg was 3-3 with three RBI, a homerun and a double. Caleb Gotz was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Coy was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a triple. Dike was 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, while both Henderson and Rankin were 2-for-4, with Henderson scoring two runs and Rankin hitting a double and a triple. Lucas Fiedler was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

The Thunderbolts will host their playoff-opening game on Wednesday, May 23, against Wayzata (2-5), which finished seventh in the CI North division. The winner of today's contest advances to the Minnesota State High School League state tournament June 1-2.