The Raiders (8-2, 7-0 Big 9 Conference) took a monumental step toward the program's first Big 9 Conference title in Mankato on Thursday afternoon.

With the victory against the reigning conference champion Class AAA No. 4 Scarlets (7-2, 3-2), the most likely remaining team to catch Northfield is Class AAA No. 7 Winona (7-2, 6-1), which has lost just once within the conference this season and is scheduled to visit Northfield on May 13.

On Thursday, the Raiders raced to a victory thanks to a pair of home runs from senior Mikaela Girard, who drove in five runs. Sophomore Courtney Graff added her first varsity home run, while senior Payton Fox scored three runs, and Gabi Schmoll, Katie Balster, Sammy Noreen and Chloe Rozga all finished with one hit.

In the circle, senior Brynn Hostettler fired all seven innings and allowed just the one run. She struck out eight batters while surrendering four hits and two walks.

Northfield next plays Tuesday, May 4 at home against Rochester John Marshall (7-2, 4-2).

Reach Regional Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106 or follow him on Twitter @APGSoMnHughes. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved. 

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

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