PIPESTONE - Second-year Fairmont head softball coach Terry Ehlert and his Cardinals ended the program's six-year postseason drought on Tuesday in Pipestone.
No. 5-seeded Fairmont pounded out 11 hits to generate a 7-2 triumph over No. 4-seeded Luverne during opening-round action in the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section playoffs.
"We hit the ball with authority during our first game today," said Ehlert, whose roster posted the Cardinals' first sectional victory since 2007.
Courtney Guetter went 3-for-4, scored a pair of runs and drove in one run for Fairmont, while teammate Micaela Gochanour proved a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, lashing a double to produce one RBI to complement scoring three runs in the opener.
Kristen Campe doubled home two runs for Fairmont, Courtney Whitmore singled to generate two RBIs, while the trio of Allison Moeller, Tieryn Arens and Mikayla Krzywicki combined equally for three hits.
Krzywicki allowed two runs - only one earned - on seven hits in seven innings of work to earn the complete-game victory. Krzywicki struck out five and walked two.
Alexis Hiller went 2-for-4 and scored a run for Luverne, while teammate Tara Sudenga smacked a solo home run in the sixth inning.
Ellen Dahl gave up seven runs on 11 hits, fanned five and walked two in going the distance to absorb the loss for Luverne.
The No. 1-seeded Pipestone Area Arrows then downed Fairmont in second-round playoff action Tuesday in Pipestone.
Tasia Woelber fired a one-hit complete-game gem to engineer the Arrows' 5-1 triumph over the Cardinals. Woelber struck out four and issued one walk, allowing only Courtney Whitmore's solo home run in the top of the seventh inning.
Pipestone Area (17-1) advances to face Morris Area at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Marshall in a winners-bracket game. Morris Area remained undefeated in the playoffs by downing Marshall, 20-5.
Fairmont (8-10) stays alive in postseason action, facing Marshall at 11 a.m. Saturday in an elimination game in Marshall.
Cassie Evans went 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored to jumpstart the Arrows' 11-hit attack, while Paige Petersen went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Amanda Haupert added a solo home run for Pipestone Area.
Whitmore's over-the-fence blast proved Fairmont's only hit and run of the second-round contest.
Taylor Schultze did not issue a walk or record a strikeout in allowing five runs on 11 hits in six innings of work to absorb the loss for the Cardinals.
FHS 004 012 0 - 7 11 1
LUV 100 001 0 - 2 7 2
Mikayla Krzywicki (WP) and Tieryn Arens. Ellen Dahl (LP) and Morgan Haugen.
FHS 000 000 1 - 1 1 0
PIP 102 020 x - 5 11 0
Taylor Schultze (LP) and Arens. Tasia Woelber (WP) and Paige Petersen.
Section 2AA Playoffs
Waseca 10, Blue Earth Area 0 - The No. 2-seeded Bluejays softball team shut out the No. 7-seeded Bucs in the first round of the Section 2AA, South Sub-Section playoffs on Tuesday in Waseca.
Waseca (11-4) advances to face No. 6-seeded Faribault Academies (9-6) at 5 p.m. Thursday in Waseca. Faribault Academies defeated No. 3 seed New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, 5-4, to reach the next round.
Blue Earth Area ended its season with a 2-12 overall record.