Esko’s Zoie Johnson belted a home run in the fifth inning of a 14-1 loss to Norwood-Young America, but it was the only run the Eskomos could muster in two games in the Minnesota Class AA tournament Thursday, June 6, in Mankato.
Esko ran into the hot bats of the Raiders in the quarterfinal game. NYA had three different batters with at least three RBIs and pitcher Sadie Erickson ended the game with a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Miranda Kelley allowed six earned runs, nine hits and struck out three in the loss.
In the consolation semifinal, Le Sueur-Henderson shut out Esko 7-0.
Dea DeLeon was 2-for-4 and Kelley had just one earned run over seven innings, while allowing nine hits and striking out three.
Esko graduates just five seniors and will return most of its core in 2020 to make a run at a fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament. The Eskomos return pitcher-catcher duo Kelley and Jayden Karppinen as well as hard-hitting junior Dea DeLeon.
Class AA Quarterfinals
Norwood-Young America 14, Esko 1, 6 innings
WP: Sadie Erickson 5IP, 1ER, 4H, 3K, 1BB. LP: Miranda Kelley 3.2IP, 6ER, 9H, 3K, 1BB. NYA: Erickson 2x5 (grand slam), 4RBIs; Kalli Wischnack 2R; Audrey Steinhagen 2x3, 3R, RBI; Abby Mackenthun 3x3 (2 2B), 3R, 3RBIs; Lily Schneider 2x4, 3RBIs; Madison Johnson 2x3. E: Zoie Johnson HR.
Class AA Consolation Semifinal
Le Sueur-Henderson 7, Esko 0
WP: Kelsey Berndt 6IP, 6H, 6K, 1BB. LP: Miranda Kelley 7IP, 1ER, 11H, 7K, 4BB. LH: Elizabeth Milam 2x4; Erica Cronk 2R; Rhyan Fritz 2x2; Keely Olness 2x2, 4RBIs; Olivia Fritz RBI; Berndt 2B. E: Dea DeLeon 2x4.