State softball: Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Agnes cruise to quarterfinal victories

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Cretin-Derham Hall 8, Benilde-St. Margaret’s 0: Raiders ace Brooke Nesdahl threw a two-hit shutout littered with 11 strikeouts to power the top seed into the Class 3A semifinals.

Nesdahl has now thrown 19 consecutive shutout innings dating back to section play.

Cretin-Derham Hall will face fifth-seeded St. Francis — which upset Rocori 5-2 on Wednesday — at 2 p.m. Thursday in North Mankato with a spot in the title game on the line.

The Raiders busted Wednesday’s bout open in the second, scoring six runs. Kaiya Anderson, Camille Castro and Audrey Michel each tallied two-hit games for Cretin-Derham Hall (19-6), which is in the state semis for the second straight season.

Winona 6, Simley 1: Mackenzi Simmons was one person Simley struggled to get out in Wednesday’s quarterfinals — and that proved mighty costly for the Spartans (16-8).

Simmons drove in all six Warhawks runs via a pair of three-run homers — one in the first inning, the other in the third — to lift second-seeded Winona to victory. Winona (20-4) will meet third-seeded Mankato East in the semifinals Thursday after Mankato East downed North Branch 16-2 on Wednesday.

Taylor Gallahue was responsible for the Spartans’ lone run — a solo homer in the top of the second frame. Gallahue and Emma Seelhammer each tallied a pair of hits for Simley.


St. Agnes 5, Proctor 0: For the second straight season, St. Agnes will play in the Class 2A semifinals after Angela Proper threw a three-hit shutout while striking out eight in a quarterfinal mini-upset as the fifth-seeded Aggies downed fourth-seeded Proctor (20-5).

Proper also went 4 for 4 at the plate, knocking in a pair of runs while scoring one of her own. But it was Gianna Schmidt who got the Aggies off to a strong start Wednesday with a solo shot with two outs in the first frame.

That was where the score stood until the fifth frame, when the Aggies strung together a walk and three consecutive hits — all with two outs — to extend the lead to 3-0. They added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh.

St. Agnes (23-2) will meet top-seeded Randolph at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals. Randolph (25-1) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to down Glencoe-Silver Lake 3-2 in Wednesday’s quarters.

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