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Raiders softball team walks off with tourney title

Hudson junior Ellie Whitacre steals third base in the bottom of the fourth inning of the Raiders' 16-4 loss to Eau Claire North in the first game of a doubleheader last Tuesday at Grandview Park. Photo by Bob Burrows1 / 2
Senior pitcher Lexi Smith winds up to deliver a pitch to the plate in the first game of a doubleheader against Eau Claire North last Tuesday at Grandview Park. Photo by Bob Burrows2 / 2

The Raider softball team won the championship game of the Robbinsdale-Cooper Tournament in dramatic fashion Saturday, coming back from a 7-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning against Minneapolis Armstrong to win 11-7 on a walk-off grand slam home run by Maya Triebold.

The dinger was Triebold's second home run of the day. Lexi Smith hit a total of five home runs in the first two games as the Raiders defeated St. Michael-Albertville, 9-8, and Minneapolis Washburn, 12-1 to reach the title game.

"The weather was great and we played some pretty good softball," Raider coach Jim Revoir said. "Lexi and Kindra (Witthus) pitched and called a couple of really good games and Lexi had a hot bat the whole day."

Trailing Armstrong 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Meghan Eisenmann led off the inning with a walk and the Raiders came up with three straight hits to start their rally.

"It seemed to be the spark that got us going," Revoir said. "We had a couple of more walks and hits that tied the game and loaded the bases for Maya."

Revoir said all-in-all, it was a great weekend for Hudson softball, with the Raider JV1 team taking third place and the JV2 team finishing fifth.

Earlier in the week the Raiders slipped to 4-4 in Big Rivers Conference play by dropping a doubleheader at home to Eau Claire North, 16-4 and 8-6.

Triebold hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning of the opener to cut the Huskies' lead to 9-4, but that's as close as Hudson could get. Smith hit a solo shot in the third for the Raiders' first run of the game and worked the first four innings on the mound to take the loss.

The score was tied 5-5 after three innings of play in the nightcap, but North outscored the Raiders 3-1 over the final four innings to escape with a two-run victory.

Witthus had two hits, including a solo home run, and Eisenmann was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI while Triebold contributed a pair of hits, including an RBI triple.

Steph Little went the distance on the mound for the Raiders, allowing eight runs on 12 hits with seven strikeouts and six walks.

Hudson, now 10-5 overall, visited Chippewa Falls (8-0, 16-1) for a BRC doubleheader Tuesday, may 15. The Cardinals are ranked No. 3 in the state in Division 1. Friday, May 18, the Raiders return home to host the state's top ranked Division 2 team -- Baldwin-Woodville (18-1) at 4:30 p.m. at Grandview Park.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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