GREEN BAY – Stevens Point Pacelli was two outs away from securing a spot in the state championship game, but Hurley was able to rally with a pair of runs and edged the Cardinals 6-5 in a Division 5 semifinal at the 2021 WIAA State Softball Tournament on Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Pacelli led 5-4 heading into the top of the seventh. Haley Nyquest led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Another bunt was misplayed into an error to put runners on first and third, and Mackenzie Backman tied the game with an RBI groundout.
Lili Benedicto followed with a single to put the Northstars up 6-5. Pacelli pitcher Hannah Trzinski got out of the inning with a strikeout.
The Cardinals had a two-out single by Sydney Gavin, but a groundout ended the game and sent Hurley into the Division 5 state championship game. Pacelli finishes the season with a 25-4 record.
Hurley (24-6) lost in the final to Oakfield (25-2) 8-4. Oakfield, making its 15th state tournament appearance, won its sixth state title.
Pacelli quickly put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning as Grace Repinski groundout to score Briar Armatowski, who reached on an error, and Trzinski singled and scored on a passed ball.
Two errors and an RBI single by Nyquest put Hurley up 3-2 in the fourth, only to see the Cardinals immediately respond with three runs of their own.
Jayden Hytry had an RBI triple, courtesy runner Laine Ilkka scored on a sacrifice fly by Julia Storch, and Repinski tripled home Armatowski to put Pacelli up 5-3.
Benedicto had an RBI triple in the fifth for Hurley to get the Northstars one run closer before they pulled ahead in the seventh.
Emma Van Order and Storch each had two hits for the Cardinals.
Trzinski finished with six strikeouts and no walks. All six runs she allowed were unearned as the Cardinals committed five errors.
Northstars 6, Cardinals 5
Hurley 000 310 2 - 6 6 2
Pacelli 200 300 0 - 5 10 5
WP: Darian Bender. LP: Hannah Trzinski.
SO: Bender 0; Trzinski 6. BB: Bender 3; Trzinski 0.
Top hitters: H, Lili Benedicto 2x4, 3B, 2 RBIs; Haley Nyquest 2x3, RBI. P, Briar Armatowski 2 runs; Grace Repinski 3B, 2 RBIs; Emma Van Order 2x4; Sydney Gavin 2x3; Julia Storch 2x3, RBI; Jayden Hytry 3B, RBI.
Records: Hurley 24-5; Pacelli 25-4.