Eagles fly by Cardinals behind 7-run 4th

Fairmont’s Makenzie Lowry reaches first safely after a dropped third strike during a Big South Conference softball game with New Ulm on Tuesday at New Ulm High School. Photo by Travis Rosenau/The Journal.

NEW ULM — After the Fairmont Cardinals ended New Ulm Eagles pitcher Ramsey Hopp’s no-hit bid and shutout in the fourth inning, the Eagles took that to heart in the bottom half of the inning.

Aided by a seven-run fourth, the Eagles picked up a 15-1 win in five innings of a Big South Conference softball game Tuesday at New Ulm High School.

The game was called in the fifth due to the 10-run lead rule.

After Neveah Rahm doubled to right to end Hopp’s no-hitter in the fourth, a sac bunt by Ava Terfehr moved Rahm’s courtesy runner, Saige Leiding, to second.

A triple to right by Makenzie Lowry allowed her to reach base for the second time of the game and bring in a run to have the Cardinals down 5-1.

Unfortunately for Fairmont, that woke a sleeping giant in New Ulm that led to seven runs in the bottom of the inning. Maddie Backer, Kenzie Enter and Hopp all had two plate appearances in that inning and all three of them got a hit in each appearance.

Backer got a triple and two-run single in the inning, while Enter and Hopp each had a pair of RBI singles to lead the Eagles’ big inning.

“The girls played well all the way through,” New Ulm head coach Kristi Andersen Loose said. “They came out and attacked right away, got on the bases, did their job. We had one inning where we didn’t score and we let them score the next inning and that was enough to get the girls to settle in and, ‘Enough’s enough,’ and then they batted around. I’m proud of how the girls really played their game and that’s really all that our job is.”

Hopp finished the game allowing two hits and no walks for one run in five innings while striking out 10. She struck out seven in a row between the second and the third innings, getting four strikeouts in the second due to a dropped third strike allowing Lowry to reach first safely.

Rahm also started in the circle for the Cardinals and took the loss in four innings of work. She allowed 15 runs on 13 hits and four walks and struck out three.

Fairmont assistant coach Tim Terfehr credited Hopp for being one of the better pitchers the Cardinals will see all season.

“Rambo’s tough to hit off of,” coach Terfehr said. “She’s one of the best we’re going to see in the whole season. We scored a run, we got a couple hits, so that was an improvement over the first game [we played New Ulm].”

Fairmont suffered a 13-0 home loss to New Ulm in five innings on April 9 in Fairmont.

Hopp helped her own cause at the plate as she went 4 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, while Enter was 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Backer finished 2 for 4 with her triple and two-run single and also scored three runs.

The Eagles got three runs in the first, one on an RBI single from Enter, one on a fielder’s choice out by Natalie Bianchi and one on an error. They added two more in the second on a wild pitch that scored Abby Rathmann and an error that scored Berkley Wilfahrt.

The Cardinals, now 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference, are still figuring some things out with a squad full of first-year starting players.

“We graduated 10 seniors from last year, so we’ve got only four girls with any experience,” coach Terfehr said. “So they’re all learning and we keep improving. The win against Luverne [Monday] was a very good win, I thought.”

Fairmont entered Tuesday fresh off a comeback win at Luverne on Monday that saw the Cardinals score seven runs in the final two innings to win 7-1.

“They’re a good ball team,” Andersen Loose said of Fairmont. “They know how to win and they have good programs in Fairmont. They’re certainly building back from what they had last year, but I think they’re doing a nice job. And they hit the ball well, they did a nice job of keeping us on our toes on defense.”

New Ulm, now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference, is at Worthington for a 5:30 p.m. game Thursday, while Fairmont hosts Blue Earth Area in a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Thursday.


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