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Loss to Panthers ends Bucs’ season

Squad will return many underclassmen for next year’s campaign

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Jun 6, 2021

McKenna Dutton strokes a double during a game against the Medford Tigers from earlier this season.

The Blue Earth Area softball team knew they had a tough road ahead of them when they learned they would be facing the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers in the first round of the Section 2AA softball playoffs.

The Panthers eliminated the Bucs from the post-season tournament by downing the Maroon and Gold by a score of 11-0 in six innings on Tuesday, June 1.

BEA came into the playoffs as the No. 13-seeded team. NRHEG was seeded No. 4.

The Bucs were unable to put any runs across the plate for the second time this year against the Panthers who defeated the Bucs 15-0 back on April 27.

NRHEG is one of the better teams in the area and the win improved their overall record to 19-2. They are undefeated on their home ballfield.

The loss brought an end to the high school softball careers of three BEA seniors. It was the last game for McKenna Dutton, Miya Gustafson and Roxanne Quintero.

The Bucs were a young team this year. In addition to the three seniors, there was two juniors, one sophomore and eight freshmen on the team.

The team finished the season with an overall record of 2-17. The lack of older, more experienced players gave the younger players a chance to get more playing time on the varsity squad this year than normal.

Hopefully that will help them when it is time to “play ball” next spring.