PREP SOFTBALL: Eagles defeated NCE/UH 2-0
East Grand Forks Sacred Heart had lost to Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal twice during the regular season. The third time's the charm, however, as the Eagles defeated NCE/UH 2-0 on Thursday to capture the championship of the subsection champion...
East Grand Forks Sacred Heart had lost to Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal twice during the regular season.
The third time’s the charm, however, as the Eagles defeated NCE/UH 2-0 on Thursday to capture the championship of the subsection championship in the Minnesota Section 8A girls softball tournament at LaFave Field.
“This one was special,” said Sacred Heart coach Mike Marek. “We’ve had trouble with this team. It’s always a battle.”
The Titans outscored Sacred Heart 9-2 in the previous two regular-season matchups.
This time around, the Eagles clamped down on defense.
This was in large part due to the stellar pitching performance by Hannah Reimer. “Hannah was on,” added Marek. “She had them swinging out of the zone. Her riser looked like a strike but by the time the ball was there, it was out of the zone.”
Reimer finished with 12 strikeouts while only allowing three hits.
But Marek was not the only coach to recognize Reimer’s pitching performance.
NCE/UH coach Steve Radniecki was equally impressed with Reimer’s performance.
“Both teams played great defensively, but Hannah Reimer was just too tough today,” said Radniecki. “She threw really well and got ahead on most counts. She kind of forced our kids to swing at some high pitches.”
Though Reimer played a pivotal role in the win, she was quick to credit the Eagles’ stingy defense and ability to get out to an early lead as the game changers.
Sacred Heart scored both its runs early in the game while having no errors in the field.
“The defense was great behind me,” said Reimer. “When we got the first two runs that helped a lot and kept momentum on our side. If we can play great defense and get our hits together, I think we’ll do well.”
The Eagles recorded nine hits, led by Reimer and Hannah Modeen with three hits each.
Sacred Heart (17-3) advances to the Section 8A semifinals where the Eagles will play Badger-Greenbush-Middle River in Red Lake Falls next Tuesday.
Though the road to a Section 8A title may be more difficult for the Titans, Radniecki would still like another crack at Sacred Heart.
“It’s always a close game,” said Radniecki. “We won the first two and they got this one. Hopefully we’ll see them again.”