The Prior Lake softball team will have to take the long road now in the Section 2AAAA playoffs.
The sixth-seeded Lakers fell 4-3 to third-seeded Minnetonka in the quarterfinals May 23 at Miller Park in Eden Prairie. That means Prior Lake will need to win six straight games to earn its first state berth since 2013.
The winner’s and loser’s bracket finals are May 30 at Miller Park, while the title game is June 2. For complete brackets, go to mshsl.org/section-events.
The Lakers (10-11 overall) headed into the playoffs dropping their final two regular season games, falling 10-7 at No. 4-ranked Forest Lake May 19 and losing 9-7 at Burnsville May 19 in South Suburban Conference action.
The Lakers finished fourth in the SSC with a 9-8 mark. Top-ranked Rosemount won the title (17-0).
In the loss to Minnetonka, Prior Lake got down 3-0 after three innings, but fought back scoring a run in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth. But the 3-3 tie didn’t last too long.
The Skippers scored the go-ahead run on a two-out error in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead.
Sophomore Bree Holmes took the loss for Prior Lake, working 3 1/3 innings and allowing one unearned run with three strikeouts. Eighth-grader Peyton Chambers started and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing three unearned runs while fanning one.
Senior Madeline Marvel finished 3 for 4 with a double and a run scored for the Lakers, while eighth-grader Brynn Liddle also doubled and drove in a run. Senior Brooke Holmes finished 2 for 4, while ninth-grader Sydney Woyak had an RBI.
Eighth-grader Lily Hopkins finished 2 for 3 with a run scored for the Lakers.
In the loss to Forest Lake, Prior Lake scored all seven of its runs in the fifth inning to lead 7-6. But that lead didn’t last long as the Rangers scored four times in the bottom of the fifth.
Brooke Holmes had a grand slam for the Lakers. Hopkins doubled and drove in a run, while Marvel finished 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI.
Junior Courtney Hennen was 2 for 3 with a run scored, while junior Brooke Thompson had an RBI.
Chambers took the loss, allowing six runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings. Ninth-grader Ada Joy Gerhardt gave up four runs in two-thirds of an inning.
In the loss to Burnsville, Gerhardt took the loss, allowing three runs in 2 1/3 innings with one strikeout. Chambers allowed six runs (five earned) in 3 2/3 innings while striking out one.
Hopkins finished 2 for 4 with with two RBIs, while Thompson was 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Woyak drove in two runs, while Liddle was 1 for 2 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Sophomore Lauren Thurk also had an RBI.
The Class 4A state tournament will be June 8-9 at its annual site, Caswell Park in Mankato.