Northeast breaks out, routs Cascade

Northeast junior Bree Mangelsen puts her bat on the ball during the third inning of Wednesday’s 2A Region 6 quarterfinal with Cascade. Mangelsen’s double gave the Rebels a 2-1 lead and Northeast scored 11 unanswered runs in an 11-1 victory in five innings. Mangelsen had a team-high three hits in the victory.

GOOSE LAKE — Visiting Cascade struck first.

But from there, the Northeast softball team took over Wednesday’s 2A Region 6 quarterfinal.

After the Cougars opened the scoring with a run in the top of the third inning, the Rebels offense came to life.

Over the next two innings, Northeast came to the plate 21 times, pounded 11 hits and, most important, pushed across 11 runs.

So, when the Cougars were unable to score in the fifth inning, the Rebels had a 10-run lead that helped them finish the game early with an 11-1 victory.

Northeast advances to a Friday semifinal date with 10th ranked Beckman Catholic.

Limited to a Bree Mangelsen single through the first two innings, the Rebels had an answer to Cascade’s run-scoring single in the top of the third.

Freshman Kayelee Hansen fought to draw a lead-off walk and was sacrificed over to second by Alexis Ehlers.

Neveah Hildebrandt followed with a line drive that deflected off an infielder’s glove and found an empty spot in the outfield, allowing Hansen to score from second.

Claire Abbott kept things going with a walk and Mangelsen doubled to deep left-center to give Northeast the lead.

Makenna McDonald followed with her own RBI-single to plate Abbott, while Valerie Spooner successfully put down a squeeze bunt to bring in Mangelsen’s courtesy runner, Madison Tarr.

McDonald, meanwhile, advanced all the way to third on the play and was soon joined on the base by Audrey Morris, who was hit by a pitch.

Pinch runner Elizabeth Chambers stole second to put two runners in scoring position, and Abby Boyer drove both of them in with a single to make it 6-1.

Cascade stranded a runner on third base in the top of the fourth inning, and the Rebels went right back to work in the bottom of the frame.

Hildebrandt led off the inning with a bang, slamming a solo home run to left.

Northeast followed by loading the bases — Abbott walked, while Mangelsen and McDonald both hit singles — and Spooner kept the hit parade going with a single to bring in a run, while Morris drove in two more with her hit.

That made it 10-1 and the Rebels scored the key 11th run on a Cascade error.

The Cougars did not go quietly, they hit a two-out double and earned a walk in the top of the fifth, but Northeast starter Alyssa Pessman got the next batter hitter to hit a pop-up to first for the final out.

Pessman allowed just five hits and the single run, while striking out a pair of batters.

Mangelsen was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, while Hildebrandt, McDonald, and Hansen all had two hits.

Hildebrandt, who hit her sixth home run of the season, Spooner, Morris and Boyer each drove in two runs, while Hildebrandt, Abbott and Tarr scored twice for the Rebels (20-13 overall).