May 30, 2023 at 5:53 p.m.
Bertram goes 5-for-5
The Melrose Area Lady Dutchmen stayed alive in the Section 6AA softball playoffs with a 14-4 win over Pillager May 23 in the playbacks at River’s Edge Park in Waite Park.
Melrose played Cathedral May 30 in the second round of playbacks.
Melrose 14, Pillager 4
In the win over Pillager, Melrose played well in all aspects. The offense hammered out 20 hits, as every batter had a least one hit. Kaydence Bertram led the team with a perfect 5-for-5 day. She capitalized on those hits scoring three runs with two RBIs.
“I was eager to get the ball out there so I was just timing my pitches really well and swinging the bat hard,” she said.
Bertram’s first-inning single drove in Hannah Hoppe for the game’s first run. She singled in another run in the sixth with her final single.
The biggest hit for Melrose was Paige Gruber’s over-the-fence, two-run home run. She reached first base five times, going 2-for-3 with two walks and a fielder’s choice. Theresia Nathe’s 3-for-5 day led to her scoring twice, including the game-ending run.
Jazmin Finken and Kari Rademacher added two hits each and drove in runs. Allie Hoppe doubled, Shantel Gruber tripled and Hannah Hoppe singled.
Ellie Grieve joined the hit parade with three hits. She earned the win on the mound, scattering four Pillager hits and striking out four.
She was helped out by a solid defense as the team turned two double plays.
“Our coaches told us, ‘Keep the ball in front (of us) and don’t get down on anyone or be upset with each other,’” Bertram said. “We were just trying our hardest, because we wanted to make it further through the season.”
The win marked the first time in over 20 years the Melrose softball won more than one playoff game.
Pequot Lakes 7, Melrose 1
Melrose had two hits in a 7-1 loss to Pequot Lakes May 23 at River’s Edge Park in Waite Park.
Nathe’s fifth-inning triple and an RBI from Grieve provided the Lady Dutchmen’s run. Grieve pitched six innings in the loss. Pequot Lakes had 13 hits in the contest.
The run scored by Nathe was the first given up by Pequot Lakes in four games. It had 14 shutouts and four one-run games during its 19-2 season.