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Softball: East Ridge advances to winner's bracket championship game

Nicole Stickels hit a three-run home run on Tuesday, May 21, at the McKnight Fields as Woodbury lost 8-3 to Cretin-Derham Hall in the opening round of the Section 4AAAA tournament. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Hailey Neubauer pitched a complete game against Cretin-Derham Hall on Tuesday, May 21, at the McKnight Fields. The Royals lost 8-3 in the opening round of the Section 4AAAA tournament. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Thursday

East Ridge 1, Eagan 0

After a dominating win to open up the Section 3AAAA tournament, East Ridge found itself in a fight on Thursday afternoon.

It was a defensive battle between the Raptors and Eagan and East Ridge looked to Abbey Cook for a strong pitching performance. She pitched all seven innings and gave up zero runs on three hits, while striking out nine batters. Cook needed at least one run to help her get the win, and she received that support in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Sidney Zavoral came up to the plate and crushed a solo home run to make it a 1-0 lead for the Raptors. That would stand throughout the entire game as East Ridge ended the game with a 1-0 victory.

East Ridge recorded four hits as a team on Thursday, and the Raptors will look to improve that number as they advance to the championship semifinals.

East Ridge will play the No. 7 seed, Rosemount, on Tuesday, May 28, at 5 p.m. at Richfield Middle School. The Irish defeated No. 2 seed Park and No. 6 seed Hastings.

The winner will play in the championship game on Friday, May 31. The loser will continue its season, but will need to come through the consolation bracket without suffering a second loss in the double-elimination tournament.

Woodbury 4, Tartan 2

Woodbury faced an elimination game on Thursday as the No. 5 seed took on No. 8 seed Tartan at the McKnight Fields. The Royals were able to capture a 4-2 win and advance to the next round of the section tournament.

No individual statistics were available for this game.

The Royals will play White Bear Lake on Friday, May 24 at 4:30 p.m. at the McKnight Fields. 

Tuesday

East Ridge 11, Apple Valley 1

East Ridge had big expectations coming into the opening round of the Section 3AAAA tournament. The Raptors were the No. 1 seed and they showed their dominance with an 11-1 win over Apple Valley on Tuesday.

It only took five innings for the Raptors to advance to the semifinals of the winner's bracket.

Sidney Zavoral led the Raptors with three RBI as she went 2-for-3 in the game, while Kaitlin Boyles and Avery Wukawitz finished the game with two RBI.

Abbey Cook was in the circle for East Ridge and was dominant for all five innings. She gave up one unearned run on two hits and struck out six batters.

Cretin-Derham Hall 8, Woodbury 3

The bad weather was expected to come after the game, but the Woodbury Royals faced the wind, rain and cold head on.

The Royals took on Cretin-Derham Hall on Tuesday in the opening round of the Section 4AAAA tournament at the McKnight Fields in North St. Paul. Cretin-Derham Hall took an early lead in the game and held on as the Royals fell 8-3.

The first few innings avoided the rain, but the rain kicked in and made things difficult for the players. There were wet softballs and the wind was coming in making it hard for balls to reach the outfield.

One softball did reach the outfield for the Royals and it actually made it over the fence. Nicole Stickels hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth to record all three Woodbury runs.

The home run made it a closer game as Cretin-Derham Hall was up 5-3 heading into the last inning and a half. The Raiders kept finding open areas on the field and scored some insurance runs.

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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