XPlosion rebound to take fifth at state

After a disappointing first-game loss to the Mankato Peppers, the Minnesota XPlosion bounced back to finish fifth in the ASA Minnesota State U-18 Class A Softball Tournament last weekend.

After a disappointing first-game loss to the Mankato Peppers, the Minnesota XPlosion bounced back to finish fifth in the ASA Minnesota State U-18 Class A Softball Tournament last weekend.

"I thought we played well all weekend," said coach Ron Tondryk. "These girls really dug down and battled with the best teams in the state."

The XPlosion, a Cloquet-based team, trailed 4-0 entering the final inning against Mankato, and eventually dropped a 9-1 decision.

"Rachel [Tondryk] struggled a bit against Mankato," explained coach Tondryk. "The Peppers are a very good hitting team. Other than that, our pitching was great all weekend."

  • Game two saw the XPlosion pound St. Peter 18-4 with Katrina Korman picking up the pitching victory.

"In Class A this year they went to 43 feet from the rubber to home plate for the pitchers," Tondryk remarked. "In a league we've been playing at 40 feet so for Katrina and Rachel that was a huge adjustment in that first game."
The XPlosion jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the sixth when Alyssa Hanson, Korman, Jeris Gellatly and Rachel Tondryk all scored. In the top of the third, it was Stacie Miller scoring to make it 5-0, but St. Peter cut the gap to 5-3 in the bottom half of the inning. That was all the closer they would get the rest of the game.


Tondryk, Emily Eisenman, Sami Mattson and Leanne Gittings all scored in the top of the fourth inning. In the fifth, it was Korman and Gellatly scoring to make it 11-3. The XPlosion added seven more runs in the sixth with the final run scored by Sarah Williams.

"I really feel that we showed how great a hitting team we have," Tondryk explained. "We had coaches from opposing teams come up to tell me how great a hitting team we have. During a couple of games we were relentless. As the old adage goes, hitting is contagious. We'd get a hit, a bunt and then not just get another hit, but a double, double and a home run."

  • Rachel Tondryk picked up a big pitching win in game three in extra innings against New Ulm in a 5-4 win.

Gittings led off with a single in the second inning and eventually scored on a double by Miller to tie the game at 1-1 after New Ulm had taken a 1-0 lead in the first.
The game stayed 1-1 through seven innings and then in the top of the eighth inning, the XPlosion scored a pair of runs with the International tie-breaker in play. Sarah Williams scored on a double by Stacie Miller and then Miller scored after a pair of wild pitches. However, New Ulm tied the game in the bottom of the inning to send the game into yet another extra frame.

The XPlosion picked up a pair of runs when both Courtney Esse and Gellatly scored to go up 5-3. New Ulm managed to score a single run, but Rachel Tondryk slammed the door with a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball to center field.

  • In game four of the tournament, the XPlosion slipped by the Minnesota Sting 4-3 as Tondryk scored three runs and added three hits. The only other run was scored by Eisneman.

Tondryk led off the game with a double and scored on a single by Eisenman who eventually scored on a single by Miller.
With two outs in the second inning it was Tondryk scraping out a base hit and scoring on Eisenman's double.

Like the previous game, this one went into the International tie-breaker with Tondryk scoring the only run in the extra session on a hit by Gittings.

Tondryk picked up the pitching win for the XPlosion after giving up 10 hits.

"It was nice to see the timely hitting, and it was everyone on the team," suggested Tondryk. "Our No. 1 and 2 hitters, Rachel Tondryk and Emily Eisenman, really set the stage for the whole team."


  • The final game of the tournament saw the XPlosion drop a 8-0 loss to the Minnesota Renegades, one of the top two teams in the state.

"Defensively, we were very strong during the tournament," Tondryk commented. "I don't think we had more than three or four errors all weekend and when you play good defense, you give yourself a chance to win ball games. We also had a few fantastic plays in the tournament by Sami Mattson, Jeris Gellatly, Stacie Miller and Alyssa Hanson."

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