Sydney Schwartz hit a towering two-run homer in her first at-bat June 3 in the second round of the Section 2AAAA softball playoffs. So when the Chanhassen junior came up to lead-off in the third inning, Prior Lake gambled.
They intentionally walked Schwartz, who has 10 home runs and is hitting .554 this season.
The gamble didn't work. Courtesy runner Emily Lackey stole second base, and Daisy Lang followed with a double, plating the eventual winning run in a 3-2 victory for Chanhassen at Miller Park.
The top-seeded Storm play Eden Prairie, the No. 6 seed, which has upset Bloomington Jefferson and Shakopee, at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8, in the winners bracket final.
Chanhassen did all of its damage early on versus Prior Lake. Schwartz hit a two-run homer in the first inning. While the Storm had runners in scoring position in second and third innings, they were unable to add to the tally at 3-0.
That came into play in the sixth inning as Prior Lake's Tori Wietgrefe hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Schwartz, who worked out of a jam with three straight strikeouts to end the fifth inning, stranding two runners, recorded a punchout on a 3-2 pitch to exit the sixth inning.
Prior Lake, held to four hits and no walks, went down 1-2-3 in the seventh inning for the final score.
Susie Tollefson was 2-for-3 for Chanhassen with Hannah Hollowaty also collecting a single.
Eden Prairie owns a 14-8 record, having lost 10-2 to Chanhassen in the second game of the regular season.
PRIOR LAKE 7, CHASKA 6
Chaska fell behind 6-2 in an elimination game with Prior Lake on June 4, coming up a run short in a 7-6 loss at Miller Park.
The Hawks finished with a 13-10 record.
Kendall Karrmann, who collected RBIs in her first three at-bats, doubled in Ally Florek for the first of four runs in the fifth inning. Payton Nicholas added a run-scoring single at 6-4 before a hit-by-pitch to Grace Swigart loaded the bases with no outs.
Following a walk to Ava Blake to score a run at 6-5, Prior Lake made a pitcher change, bringing in Brooke Holmes. A sacrifice fly from Medora Rylee tied the game at six, but Holmes set down nine of 11 batters faced over three innings for the win.
Chaska left multiple runners on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Prior Lake broke the 6-all tie with a Karlie Miller single and Tori Wietgrefe run-scoring double off Karrmann, who pitched five-plus innings for the Hawks.
Karrmann had RBI-singles in the first and third innings. Prior Lake countered with a four-run second inning highlights by a Katie Beer 2-run double.
Chaska got a single from Sydney Huwe in the sixth inning and two-out walk from Lauren Olsen in the seventh, neither runner moving past first base.
MINNETONKA 5, SHAKOPEE 2
Minnetonka kept its season going, defeating Shakopee 5-2 in an elimination round on June 3 at Miller Park.
The Skippers, 14-9 overall, are among the final four teams in Section 2AAAA.
Minnetonka will have a rematch with Prior Lake at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8. The Lakers walked off on the Skippers 4-3 in the opening round.