The Rochester Lourdes Eagles defeated the Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights 10-0 in a five inning game at the new Rochester Fastpitch Complex today.  Senior Right handed pitcher Abbey Gapinski threw a perfect game while striking out 11 of the 15 batters she faced.  Gapinski threw 67 pitches, 48 strikes with six of the strikeouts looking.  Her changeup was outstanding.

Knights junior Emma Berquam tossed 116 pitches in five innings with 7 strikeouts and 7 walks, she also hit a batter while giving up 9 hits to a very good Eagles lineup.  Berquam and Madi Luebke were our Held Bus Service Knights of the game.  To strike out 7 Eagles was impressive and she pitched out of a first inning jam allowing just one run in the inning.

Gapinski struck out the first two Kenyon-Wanamingo batters before Luebke crushed a ball that Gapinski snared to end the top half of the inning.  Rochester Lourdes would score just one run in the bottom of the first.  Berquam fanned the first batter faced.  Sophomore shortshop Alyssa Ustby tried to bunt a couple of times before smacking a single.  She stole second and third base as the Eagles lived up to their name, flying around the bases most of the night. Ustby scored on an error by the center fielder for the Knights.  It appeared to be a lazy fly ball to center but on this day anything in the air hit softly was going to be an adventure in the wind.  The inning ended with just one run scored when Berquam got her second strike out.  One was swinging and the other looking.

Gapinski struck out all three batters faced in the second inning and Rochester Lourdes erupted for six runs in the bottom the the inning to take control of the game.  There were back to back walks to start the inning following by an RBI single by Lourdes lead-off hitter Margaret Rogers.  Rogers would steal second base and go to third on a wild pitch before another walk was issued.  Number three hitter junior Designated Player Anna Taylor clubbed a two run double and the next batter, junior Katie Virgin had an RBI double.  There were two more walks and a strikeout before number 8 hitter senior Clara Radlof was hit in the foot by a pitch with the bases loaded and Berquam ended the inning with another strikeout, her fifth of the game.

In the top of the third Gapinski struck out two batters looking and sophomore center fielder Sydney Burow hit a sinking liner that was caught by Ustby at shortstop. The two strikeouts were looking.

Lourdes ran themselves out of any scoring in the third inning.  Berquam started the inning by striking out the lead-off hitter Rogers for the second time.  Ustby hit a double and was at third when the next batter grounded out.  With the cleanup batter at the plate and up 7-0 Ustby tried to steal home and was out to end the inning.

In the top of the fourth Gapinski tallied two more strikeouts, one swinging and the other looking.  Sandwiched between those was another well hit ball off the bat of Luebke but right back to the pitcher.

Rochester Lourdes led off the bottom of the fourth with three consecutive singles but Berquam limited the damage to one run scored by getting the seven, eight, nine batters by a strikeout, pop out and line out.

In the top of the fifth inning Gapinski struck out a batter swinging and one looking and Knights sophomore Ellie Benson hit a fly ball caught in center.

The Eagles ended the game with the runs needed in the fifth.

Rochester Lourdes finished last season ranked second in the state in Class 2A and saw Zumbrota-Mazeppa sweep them in a Section final doubleheader before the Cougars went to state and captured their second straight championship.  The Cougars were rated 7th in the state in that final poll before the playoffs.

The Knights are young with just one senior on their team and Lourdes also has some youth with only three seniors.  The Eagles are 4-1 and the Knights fell to 0-3.

Kenyon-Wanamingo hosts Stewartville Monday in Wanamingo at 4:30 p.m.  Rochester Lourdes hosts an eight team tournament at the new Rochester Fastpitch Complex Saturday.

It's a very nice facility.  They got the scoreboard hooked up to electricity just before the game and a nice building between the fields appears to have plenty of room for storage in addition to some area on each end to get out of any weather if needed.  Concessions can be served out of the building too and I'm guessing they'll bring in some tables to place in those areas.

The other teams in the Lourdes tournament are Rochester Mayo, Rochester John Marshall, Byron, Stewartville, Mounds View, Lewiston-Altura and Belle Plaine.

Our next broadcast of a Kenyon-Wanamingo event will be Monday when I'll be in Wanamingo to bring folks both games of the Knights doubleheader with Triton.

Coverage will begin at 4:15 p.m.

Rochester Fastpitch Complex. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld