A dominant performance in the circle by sophomore pitcher Brynn Hostettler powered second-seeded Northfield softball to a 10-0 six-inning victory Thursday against Detroit Lakes in the Class AAA state quarterfinals at Caswell Park in North Mankato.
Northfield (19-3) advances to play third-seeded Becker (20-5) at 5 p.m. Thursday in the state semifinals.
Hostettler struck out 14 batters while allowing only one hit, a bunt single, although she did hit five batters and walked another to allow some traffic on the bases. In the top of the first, the Lakers (17-7) placed runners on second and third before Hostettler notched a strikeout to escape the jam.
Then, in the top of the sixth, Detroit Lakes put runners on second and third again, this time with one out, but Hostettler struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Northfield took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when junior Anne Fossum lined a single up the middle to score Payton Fox from second base. Then, in the bottom of the third, Fox worked her way on base again before trotting home when senior Jillian Noel launched a two-run home run, her seventh of the season and third in four postseason games.
Fox ended her day with the two runs, a pair of walks and a single.
The Raiders added seven runs to the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Northfield first loaded the bases with no outs before junior Noelle Hauskins drove in sophomore Chloe Rozga with an RBI single, junior Emma Johnson drove in senior Caroline Pritchard with another RBI single, senior Anika Guggisberg darted home on a wild pitch and Hauskins and Johnson dashed home after a Detroit Lakes error.
Then, Rozga, batting for the second time in the sixth, singled in sophomore Mikaela Girard before Guggisberg drew a bases-loaded walk to invoke the 10-run rule.
Chalk across bracket
In the other three Class AAA quarterfinal games, played simultaneously, top-seeded Mankato West raced past unseeded Visitation 16-3, fourth-seeded Cloquet dominated fifth-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret's 10-0 and third-seeded Becker edged unseeded Mahtomedi 5-4 after falling behind 3-0 in the first inning.