The Becker Bulldog softball team saw its regular season some to a close last week as the final game with Maple Grove was canceled due to inclement weather. That left their season record at 13-6 and 11-3 in the Mississippi8 Conference, where the team tied with Big lake for second place.
The Bulldogs earned the #2 seed in Section 5AAA and took on #7 seed Willmar on Tuesday and came away with a 7-0 win.
Bulldog pitcher Emma Eickhoff was too much for the Cardinals to handle, as she struck out the side in both the first and second innings. She would go all 7 innings for the Bulldogs, allowing 5 hits, walking two batters and amassing 14 strikeouts.
Offensively, the Bulldogs had just enough, as they finally broke out in the sixth inning to put the game away.
Senior Krista Paulson led off the first inning with a walk before Kurstyn Patnode doubled to put two runners on base. Paulson then scored on a Cadence Koste groundout to give Becker the early 1-0 lead and it was all Eickhoff would need.
The Bulldogs added another run in the second inning when Makenna Zerwas doubled and courtesy runner Ashlyn Croal scored on a Maddie Sherman single.
The game remained 2-0 until the Bulldog bats finally broke out for 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th. Koste led off the inning with a home run to make it 3-0. The next two Bulldogs were retired, but then the next 5 batters reached. Paulson and Patnode each had 2-rbi singles in the inning. While the Cardinals threatened with a couple runners in both the 4th and 6th innings, Eickhoff slammed the door each time.
Zerwas and Sherman led the effort at the plate, as they each had 3 hits on the night.
With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinals where they hosted #3 seed Rocori on Thursday afternoon. Complete game details can be found in next week’s Patriot.