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By Brad E. Schlossman, Published June 05 2009

Minnesota state softball: Hawley eliminated after two losses

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. – East Grand Forks Sacred Heart was limited to just two hits – both bunt singles – on Thursday.

But even that is enough offense for Darcy Roach these days.

Roach threw a one-hitter, striking out nine to lead Sacred Heart to a 2-0 win over Hawley in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota state Class A softball tournament in Caswell Park. Hawley later dropped its consolation game to Wabasso 12-5, shortening the Nuggets’ appearance at state to one day.

“This was a great experience for us,” Hawley coach Anita Heier said. “We only have one senior. Most of our team is freshmen and sophomores. Hopefully, they have a few more trips back here left.”

In the opener, Roach consistently blew the ball past Nuggets hitters as she’s done to most opponents this postseason. It marked Roach’s sixth shutout in her last seven games. Catcher Kelsey Aakre had Hawley’s only hit – a single up the middle in the top of the fifth.

“She’s the hardest throwing pitcher we’ve seen all year,” Heier said. “We struggled to get anything going against her. We’re not used to seeing that kind of pitching.

“Our girls can throw strikes, but they don’t work the corners like the girls do here.”

The Nuggets were in the game until the end because freshman pitcher Jessy Noreen was nearly as good as Roach. Noreen threw a complete game, striking out seven, but she ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth.

Sacred Heart loaded the bases with a pair of bunt singles and hit by pitch. Then, with two outs, Noreen walked Sacred Heart’s Rachel Scheving and allowed another run on a wild pitch. Roach retired the Nuggets in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.

In the nightcap, Hawley jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but a strong-hitting Wabasso team was able to come back. Catcher Andrea Rohlik went 4-for-4 with a home run, three runs and four RBIs. Shortstop Tori Altermatt added two hits, two runs and three RBIs.

Jenny Noreen, the lone senior on the Nuggets team, was the offensive leader with two hits and an RBI.

“Last year, we had a good team and that team set the table for this trip to state,” Heier said. “Hopefully this trip to state sets the table for next year. Maybe we can come back here and win a game.”

Hawley 000 000 0– 0 1 0

EGFSH 000 002 x– 2 2 0

Jes. Noreen and Aakre. Roach and Hanson. W–Roach. L–Jes. Noreen.

Hawley 300 001 1– 5 7 7

Wabasso 102 405 x–12 12 5

Jes. Noreen, Cook and Aakre. Fennern and Rohlik. W–Fennern. L–Jes. Noreen. HR–W, Rohlik.

The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.