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Silver Bay falls in Class A softball semifinals

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. -- Danielle Schmidt found out how to top her performance from earlier Thursday. The New Life Academy senior pitcher, who destroyed the Minnesota high school softball state-tournament record and set an all-time state record wi...

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. -- Danielle Schmidt found out how to top her performance from earlier Thursday.

The New Life Academy senior pitcher, who destroyed the Minnesota high school softball state-tournament record and set an all-time state record with 32 strikeouts in a 3-2 Class A quarterfinal win in the morning, tossed a no-hitter in a 5-0 victory over Silver Bay in an evening semifinal at Caswell Park.

What can Schmidt do for an encore? Perhaps repeat as state champions?

"That would cap it off, definitely," said Schmidt, who threw her seventh shutout and third no-hitter of the season.

Schmidt walked the first two batters, then retired 18 in a row. She struck out 14 to give her 46 for the tournament, just three from the record set two years ago by Brynne Dordell of Chaska.

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"She's been through it before," said New Life Academy coach Mick Ramey. "She started out tired, but she's such a competitor that she was able to get through it."

Silver Bay (20-7) didn't display its usual aggressiveness at the plate, perhaps due to learning of Schmidt's performance in the quarterfinals.

"I didn't tell them, but they must have known about it," Mariners coach Mike Guzzo said. "I thought [we] might swing the bats, but we definitely looked different batting against her. She was in their heads."

Schmidt, who allowed a two-run home run in a 3-2 win over Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, struck out the side twice and recorded a "K" in every inning.

"Her rise ball was unbelievable and her change-up was amazing," junior Kirstin Sandstrom said. "She was just untouchable, that's for sure. We haven't faced a pitcher that good for a long time."

Silver Bay met East Grand Forks Sacred Heart (21-3) for third place at 11 a.m. Friday.

A chance to win a trophy was still enough to keep Sandstrom upbeat.

"It's new life for us," she said with a smile.

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SILVER BAY 9,

CHATFIELD 2

The Mariners, aided by seven Chatfield errors, easily won their quarterfinal.

The Section 7 champions scored two runs in the second inning, three in the third and four in the fourth to secure the victory over the Section 1 winners.

Taylor Guzzo and Jessica Solberg each had two hits, but the Mariners were helped most by Chatfield's fielding miscues. The Gophers committed three errors with two outs in the second, leading to the first two runs, then threw the ball around four times in the following two innings as Silver Bay took a 9-1 lead.

Nikki Babbitt had two RBIs and Guzzo scored two runs to back Sandstrom, who scattered six hits, including Emily Miller's fourth-inning home run.

Class A Quarterfinals

Silver Bay 9, Chatfield 2

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At North Mankato, Minn. WP: Kirstin Sandstrom 7IP, 6H, 2ER, 2K, 0BB. LP: Ellen Becker 6IP, 4ER, 6K, 1BB. SB: Taylor Guzzo 2x4, 2R, RBI; Nikki Babbitt 2RBIs; Jessica Solberg 2x3, RBI. C (20-6): committed 7 errors; Emily Miller 2x3 (solo HR in 4th); Tori Ulring 2x3.

Class A Semifinals

New Life Academy 5, Silver Bay 0

At North Mankato, Minn. WP: Danielle Schmidt 7IP, 0H, 14K, 3BB. LP: Nikki Babbitt 4IP, 2H, 0ER, 4K, 2BB. NLA (21-6): Jenny Ramey 2x3, 3R; Rebekah Schmidt 2x3 (2B), RBI; D. Schmidt 2B.

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