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Softball: Royals fall in 13-inning battle against Anoka

It was a frustrating loss for Woodbury pitcher Ashley Mickschl and the Royals who lost to Anoka 1-0 in 13 innings in the championship semifinals. Photo by John Molene

A Woodbury team which scored 10 runs or more in 12 games this season, couldn't buy a single one Thursday against No. 2 Anoka.

Anoka broke the Royals' hearts Thursday with a 1-0 win in the 13th inning in the MSHSL Class AAAA Semifinals.

“They played a great game, Woodbury head coach Michelle Welch said. “They're all hurt.”

The two teams combined for 18 hits in the 13 inning game, but neither could push anything across until the bottom of the 13th.

Amber Elliot threw all 13 innings for Anoka, striking out 13 and allowing seven hits. Ashley Mickschl threw 12.1 innings and struck out ten for Woodbury.

Anoka’s leadoff batter Kaitlyn Backman reached in the 13th and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A controversial balk call on Ashley Mickschl moved Backman to third. The Anoka runner then scored the game-winner on a single to second by pitcher Amber Elliott.

The loss put the Royals (23-3) into the third-place game Friday against defending champion Chanhassen (24-2).

Anoka (25-1) will play surprising Farmington (23-3) for the tournament title Friday afternoon. Anoka's only loss this season has been a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Royals back on May 13.

Anoka's Elliott and Woodbury's Mickschl will both play for Augustana next season.

Woodbury had seven hits against Anoka, but could never string anything together. Mickschl went 2-for-5 to lead the Royals.

Defensively, the Royals were practically flawless, with Cam Veenbaas, Shannon Motzko, and Ally Hjort having 10 putouts apiece.

“It was an excellent game,” Woodbury assistant coach Rachel Nicholas said. “Both teams played very well. It was going to end up what it is.”

The Anoka game was a direct contrast to the opener for the Royals, a 10-0 win over Buffalo in five innings.

An eight-run, third inning helped Woodbury take down Buffalo in the first round of the tournament. The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the second before exploding for eight runs on seven hits in the of the third. Woodbury finished the game with 12 hits.

Cam Veenbaas went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Royals. Kaitlyn Rocco was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Amanda Dickmeyer was 2-for-4.

Mickschl and Ally Hjort combined to throw a five-inning shutout, allowing just two hits. Mickschl pitched three innings, striking out seven of the nine batters she faced.