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TCU shuts down Panthers in post-season

And just like that, it’s over for the 2017 NRHEG High School softball team.

The Panthers’ season ended abruptly in the opening round of post-season play at Montgomery Wednesday with a 4-1 loss to Tri-City United.

It may have been a quick ending to the season, but not totally unexpected as coach Wendy Schultz’s Panthers were seeded No. 10, three spots below TCU.

The Panthers struggled offensivly against TCU starter Elly Novak, who held them without a hit through four innings and finished with eight strikeouts. Skylar Lembke singled with two outs in the fifth to break up the no-hitter. Before that, the Panthers had just two baserunners.

They finally assembled a mini-rally in the seventh, when Natalie Aaseth had a one-out single and scored on a double by Alexis Anderson. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the uprising.

TCU threatened in nearly every inning, leaving the bases loaded in the first and two on in the second. TCU scored one in the third but again left runners on base.

The Titans scored once in the fourth and twice in the sixth.

Aaseth was the losing pitcher.

NRHEG finished with four hits, by Anderson, Aaseth, Lembke and Paige Knudson. Grace Johns was hit by a pitch two times.

NRHEG ends the season with an 8-13 record overall, 5-7 in the Gopher Conference.

The Panthers graduate four key seniors in Aaseth, Johns, Rachel Collins and Kayley Camerer.

TCU advanced to face No. 2 seed Jordan in the section quarterfinals.

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