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Fairmont outslugs MCW in 13-12 softball clash

IN MOTION — Fairmont runners Anna Ehlert (front) and Cassidy Schultz (back middle) break after the delivery while Martin County West third baseman Paige Anderson (right) and shortstop Taylor Elliott (left) await a possible play during non-league softball action Tuesday at Cardinal Park. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT — “What a rollercoaster ride,” Fairmont head coach Cory Hainy said in reference to his Cardinals’ 13-12 comeback softball victory over the Martin County West Mavericks on Tuesday at Cardinal Park.

“They (the Mavericks) had their turn in the top of the seventh, and more importantly, we had our turn in the bottom half to overcome a two-run deficit,” Hainy said in reference to MCW’s incredible late eight-run rally and Fairmont’s cardiac counter-punch.

Trailing 12-10 after once holding a 10-4 lead, Fairmont’s Allison Janssen drew a leadoff walk before courtesy runner Emma Gudahl moved to second base on Anna Ehlert’s single up the middle.

Nevaeh Rahm then slugged a single to center to load the bases for Cardinal clean-up batter Chantel Moeller, who had lined out twice earlier in the non-league clash.

“Chantel finally got one to fall in and it was huge,” Hainy said in reference to his catcher’s clutch two-run single to left field to plate Gudahl and Ehlert for a 12-all tie.

Cassidy Schultz then hammered her third hit of the game — a walk-off RBI double to deep center — to plate pinch runner Ava Terfehr with the decisive run to cap the comeback win.

Down by six, MCW erupted for eight runs on the strength of five hits combined with four of Fairmont’s six errors during the top of the seventh to grab a two-run lead.

Taylor Elliott singled before Fairmont reliever Allison Janssen recorded two outs before the hometown defense experienced some growing pains.

Emily Dunlop, who had cranked a two-run home run in the first at-bat, drilled a single before teammate Hailee Schuett drilled a key two-run single to center to reduce MCW’s deficit to 10-6.

After Paige Anderson and Emily Anderson both reached on Fairmont miscues, Thea Anderson belted an RBI double down the left-field line. Another error, walk and wild pitch eventually knotted the game at 10-all.

Lina Arnold then produced her second hit of the game, smacking the go-ahead two-run single to left for MCW.

“I was impressed with the way our girls came back after a demoralizing top of the seventh,” said Hainy. “To rally for the win like that tells you something about this team’s character.”

Schultz went 3-for-5 with a game-best four RBIs for Fairmont, while Kynlie Anderson collected both of her hits and her two RBIs by serving as the catalyst behind the Cardinals’ six-run third.

Rahm and Ehlert each collected two hits, with Ehlert driving home two runs and scoring three times, while Janssen doubled, walked twice and scored three runs.

Ehlert recorded a strikeout in facing just one MCW batter to end the seventh to notch the pitching victory.

Dunlop went 3-for-5 with a HR and two RBIs, Arnold and Paige Anderson each went 2-for-4, while Emily Anderson had an RBI hit.

Fairmont (3-8) plays host to Blue Earth Area on Thursday, while Martin County West (5-5) travels to Madelia on Thursday.

Ella Klunder pounded out three hits, while teammates Paige Linse and Gabby Leiding produced two hits apiece to power Fairmont’s 21-2 rout over Martin County West during junior varsity action Tuesday at Cardinal Park.

Leiding struck out six and allowed one run on one hit in four innings pitched to net the win for the Cardinals (9-2).

Brylee Miller gave up one run and struck out one in two innings of relief for Fairmont.

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