Warriors rally past Raiders to secure 16/18U GFP gold

FAIRMONT — After the dust settled Sunday, the 507 Warriors were crowned tournament champions at the Cardinal Power 16/18U GFP Softball Classic at the Winnebago Avenue Sports Complex.

Broken into two pools, Pool A contained the Cardinal Power, the 507 Warriors and the Edgerton Dutchmen. Pool B had the Jackfield Jayhawks, Nicollet Raiders and Austin. Game 1 featured the Jayhawks and Raiders, with the Raiders taking the victory with a score of 9-1 to secure their first win of the day. This tournament format saw each team in their respective pool play against each other, with their win-loss record determining who they would face from the opposite pool for a shot at the title.

Pool A matched up the Cardinal Power and the 507 Warriors. The Warriors were able to stave off the Cardinal power claiming a 6-5 victory. The Cardinal Power then moved on to take on the Dutchmen, where they edged out a 2-0 win to land the Cardinal Power in the second-place game for a shot at silver. The Warriors continued their winning ways, knocking the Dutchmen down 8-7. The Dutchmen fell to 0-2 in the standings, landing them in the fifth-place game.

Pool B kicked off with the Jayhawks facing the Raiders. The Raiders took a definitive 9-1 win to get their day started. The Jayhawks then took on Austin, falling to their opponent in a 4-1 loss to land them in a third-place game against the Dutchmen. The Raiders continued to play well, defeating Austin 3-2 to land them in a first-place matchup against the Warriors. Austin then faced off against the Cardinal Power for second place.

The Dutchmen edged out the Jayhawks 4-2 to secure fifth place, while Austin blew past the Cardinal Power in a 14-0 victory to lock in the bronze.

The final stage was set for the Warriors and Raiders where they squared off for the crown. The Warriors went up early, with McKenna Andresen scoring off of a single by Macey Portner in the bottom of the first to open up the scoring. The Raiders knocked one in, tying it up in the second. Gaining control of the game, the Raiders took a 4-1 lead in the third. The Warriors rallied back, closing the gap with two runs of their own bringing it to a 4-3 game.

Scoring continued in the fifth inning, with the Raiders extending their lead to 5-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth. The Warriors were able to gain one run back in the fourth going into the fifth inning 5-4. Despite their ability to score, the Warriors didn’t seem able to get out in front, giving up three more in the sixth while only scoring two.

Heading into the final inning, the Warriors were down 9-6 but managed to shut the Raiders down for the first time since the first inning heading into the bottom of the seventh. Andresen was walked to get the Warriors their first baserunner, keeping their hopes alive. That was followed by a single from Portner to drive in the first run of the inning for the Warriors. A two-out single by Maren Swenson drove in both Portner and Kaitlyn Flowers to tie the game up at 9-9. Abby Groebner gets walked, keeping the Warriors offense on the field. Addy Jaeger singled to drive in the winning run in the 10-9, come-from-behind win and the championship for the Warriors.



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