The West Central Area lady Knights stayed alive in the Section 6A softball playoffs with a pair of wins on Tuesday in Glenwood. WCA started the day with an impressive 11-0 five-inning victory over Parkers Prairie and then finished it with a 7-3 win over Royalton, eliminating both teams from the tournament and setting up a showdown with Brandon-Evansville on Thursday at one o'clock at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.
Brianna Kreft was masterful in game one, striking out four, walking one, allowing just two hits and throwing a shutout. Her defense was flawless behind her and every Knight had at least one hit while eight scored at least one run in the contest as they compiled thirteen hits on the day. Hitting leaders were Elly Herman (2-3, 2B, RBI, R), Maddie Hansen (2-3, 2B, RBI, R), Hailey Bennett (2-3, RBI, SB, 2R), Hailey Hansen (2-3, 2B, 2R, RBI) and Hannah Anderson (1-1, BB, R, RBI, SAC).
"Overall, it felt really good to be iin the final six teams and to ten-run an opponent," said Head Coach Vanessa McNamara. "You come to these games knowing it could be your last and to come out and explode against a team really feels good. Brianna had a very impressive night on the mound."
The Knights had fourteen hits in their second game, with Kaitlyn Sanstead leading the way going 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored and a stolen base. Brianna Kreft was 2-for-4 at the plate and once again earned the win with a solid complete game effort which saw her strike out four batters, walk one and allow just four hits. Other leading hitters were Maddie Hansen (2-4), Hannah Anderson (2-2, SAC, HBP, SB, R) and Hailey Bennett (3-4, R).
"In the field, our defense was fantastic," said McNamara. "We played solid ball from beginning to end. I want to take a minute to recognize our outfield who made diving catches, double plays and had great back-ups on all parts of the game. This truly was a team win and I saw outstanding things on both offense and defense."
The Knights (17-6) will face Brandon-Evansville at one o'clock Thursday. The winner of that game will take on New York Mills for the section title.
"We look forward to another shot at Brandon-Evansville on Thursday," said McNamara. "We are proud to be in the final three teams. We stand with the two number one teams out of the two brackets, New York Mills, the multiple time state contender, and Brandon-Evansville who is not only a great team, but also filled with eight seniors. It feels good to know our hard work with this young team has paid off. The girls have been playing with determination, solid defense and a whole lot of heart."