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    Softball: St. Francis earns 3rd at state

    By Patrick Slack,


    A five-run seventh inning put an exclamation point on a third-place Class AAA state tournament finish for the St. Francis softball team at Caswell Park in North Mankato June 5-7.

    St. Francis defeated Winona 8-2 in the third-place game to close the tournament. The game was scoreless after two innings, before the Saints took the lead with a pair of runs in the third. Winona drew even at 2-2 after four, before St. Francis quickly regained the lead with a run in the fifth, then sealed a season-ending win with its five-run seventh.

    Emerson Markas homered, doubled, drew a walk and drove in three runs to pace a powerful offensive attack. Kara Schwintek collected three hits and scored three runs, Alexa Skogquist homered, Molly Hanson picked up two hits, and Grace Keding drove in two. Sydney Borchert earned the complete-game win, allowing just one earned run on six hits and a walk while striking out nine.

    St. Francis dropped a heartbreaker the day before, falling 5-4 in the semifinals against top-seeded Cretin-Derham Hall.

    Borchert doubled, walked and hit a three-run homer, and Taleeya Draack drove in the Saints’ other run with a sacrifice fly. Markas, Skogquist and Schwintek each had a hit and a run, and Abby Keding had two hits.

    St. Francis opened the state tournament with a 6-2 victory over Rocori in the quarterfinals. Skogquist doubled twice and drew two walks, Kiersten Terris drew three walks, Abby Keding drew two walks, Addy Halland scored twice, Kaely Saporito and Markas both scored once, and Draack, Myanna Kiser and Molly Hanson each added an RBI. Borchert threw a four-hitter and struck out eight to earn the win pitching, while adding two hits and two RBIs at the plate.

    St. Francis finished the season with a 20-6 record.

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