FAIRMONT - Micaela Gochanour just missed hitting for the cycle in powering the Fairmont Cardinals to a 7-2 victory over the Waseca Bluejays during South Central Conference softball action Tuesday at Cardinal Park.
Gochanour went 4-for-4 from the batter's box, including a double and a home run, scored four runs and produced two RBIs to ignite the Cardinals' 10-hit offensive attack. Ironically, the No. 3 batter reached third base during her third at-bat, but it was scored a single and two-base error on the Bluejays' left fielder.
"Our hitting really started coming around today," said third-year Fairmont head coach Terry Ehlert. "Goch hit the ball hard every time up and it was contagious as everybody in the batting order made good contact today."
TRYING FOR TWO — Fairmont second baseman Taylor Nuss fires to first base in an attempt to turn a double play after forcing out Waseca runner Alexis Schifflet at second during South Central Conference softball action Tuesday at Cardinal Park in Fairmont. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Trailing 2-0 on the heels of Katie Tlusty's RBI double and Maddy Knoll's RBI single in the top of the first inning, Gochanour sliced Fairmont's deficit in half by launching a solo inside-the-park homer with two out in the home half of the frame.
Gochanour hammered an offering from Waseca right-hander Mackenzie Madsen into the left-field corner and turned on the turbos to circle the bases.
The Cardinals then turned in a pair of defensive gems to thwart the Bluejays' potential threat during the top of the second.
Kaitlyn Kummerfeldt drew a leadoff walk from Fairmont right-hander Mikayla Krzywicki, but was erased when Cardinal catcher Tieryn Arens picked off the Bluejay runner, who had strayed too far off first.
Madsen then blooped a single into shallow left, but turned into the back half of a double play when teammate Anna Hoehn lofted a flyball to Fairmont centerfielder Courtney Guetter. Guetter made the catch and fired to first baseman Allison Moeller for the inning-ending double play.
Down 2-1, Abby Fitzgerald and Gochanour pounded out back-to-back doubles to knot the game during the home half of the third inning. Gochanour, who later took third base on a wild pitch, scored the go-ahead run on Aly Eversman's RBI single to center.
Gochanour then triggered the Cardinals' two-out rally in the fourth by blasting a single to left that bounced off the Bluejay outfielder's glove and skipped to the fence. Gochanour reached third base on the play and later crossed home on Kristen Campe's blistering RBI single down the left-field line for a 4-2 lead.
Gochanour then displayed her defensive skills during the top of the fifth. With Waseca runners on first and second, Fairmont's third baseman gloved a hot shot off Tlusty's bat for the initial forceout at the hot corner. One batter later, Gochanour gloved Jordan Paulson's one-hit grounder, stepped on third for the forceout and threw to Moeller at first for the inning-ending double play.
Krzywicki then displayed her outstanding command inside the chalked circle by working around Madi Priebe's two-out double in the top of the sixth by recording one of her five strikeouts to maintain the Cardinals' 4-2 lead.
Gochanour and Campe then served as the potent 1-2 offensive punch that pounded out three insurance runs during the last half of the sixth to build a 7-2 edge.
Gochanour lined a leadoff single and sprinted around the bases when Campe belted an RBI double into the left-field corner. Campe stayed put when Lisa Craig was plunked by a pitch before Campe scored on Eversman's sizzling RBI double down the left-field line. Craig later tagged and scored on Moeller's sacrifice fly.
Krzywicki then slammed the door on her complete-game gem by retiring Waseca in order during the top of the seventh.
Krzywicki allowed two earned runs on eight hits, struck out five and walked two in going the distance to earn the victory.
Madsen gave up seven runs - six earned - on 10 hits, fanned three, walked four and hit one batter in six innings to take the loss for the Bluejays.
Shifflet and Priebe each went 2-for-3 to top Waseca's eight-hit effort.
Fairmont (2-2, 1-1 SCC) travels to St. James on Thursday, while Waseca (3-1, 1-1) plays host to St. Peter.
WAS 200 000 0 - 2 8 3
FMT 102 103 x - 7 10 1
Mackenzie Madsen (LP) and Jordan Paulson. Mikayla Krzywicki (WP) and Tieryn Arens.
LOB-Fairmont 11; Waseca 6. 2B-Abby Fitzgerald (F), Micaela Gochanour (F), Kristen Campe (F), Aly Eversman (F), Katie Tlusty (W), Madi Priebe (W). HR-Gochanour (F). SF-Allison Moeller (F). SAC-Alexis Shifflet (W).
Fairmont rallied to plate three runs in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the sixth to eclipse Waseca, 8-4, during junior varsity action Tuesday in Fairmont.
Mallory Gochanour and Courtney Williams each collected two RBIs and two hits to top the Cardinals' nine-hit performance.
Allison Johnston allowed four runs on nine hits and struck out 10 in seven innings of work to earn the complete-game victory for Fairmont.
The Cardinals travel to St. James on Thursday.
The Fairmont Cardinal junior varsity softball lineup captured second place at the Martin County West Invitational on Saturday in Welcome.
Mallory Gochanour produced three hits and four RBIs to help guide Fairmont to an opening 9-7 victory over Luverne.
Lindsee Tromanhauser collected three RBIs for Fairmont, while Allison Johnston generated two hits.
Johnston struck out six in seven innings of work to earn the complete-game victory for Fairmont.
Martin County West downed Fairmont in the championship game, 16-6, in five innings.
Gochanour produced three hits, Johnston netted three RBIs, while Katelyn Korn chipped in two RBIs.
Jordan Ehlert struck out five in 2 2/3 innings pitched, while Johnston fanned five in 2 1/2 innings.
Blue Earth Area 6, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 5 - Jose Rios used his one at-bat effectively, driving in Alex Stewart with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to help the Bucs down the Panthers 6-5 during nonconference action on Tuesday in Blue Earth.
Stewart went 3-for-4 in the game with a double and three RBIs, in addition to scoring the game-winning run for the Bucs.
Luke Schavey belted out a pair of hits in three at-bats, scoring two runs and driving in two RBIs for BEA.
David Franta smacked a double and scored a run in the win for the Bucs, while Alec Huber went 1-for-2 from the dish.
Quinn Huisman pitched three innings, allowing four runs - two earned - on three hits, striking out one and walking two in a no-decision outing.
Mathew Bell then came in to pitch four innings of relief, earning the win and giving up one run on one hit, striking out four and walking two.
Matt Jensen pitched four innings, striking out five, walking two and allowing five runs - four earned - on six hits to take the no-decision for the Panthers.
Trevor Tracy took the loss for NRHEG, giving up one earned run on two hits, striking out three and walking one in two innings of relief.
Blue Earth Area (3-1) travels to play a 5:30 p.m. South Central Conference game against New Ulm on Thurday at Johnson Park in New Ulm.
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (0-2) plays Maple River in a 5 p.m. game on Thursday in Mapleton.
NRHEG 202 100 0 - 5 4 2
B.E. Area 201 210 x - 6 8 5
Quinn Huisman, Mathew Bell (4, WP) and Kellen Jacobs. Matt Jensen, Trevor Tracy (5, LP) and Noah Krell.