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Diamonds are off to a 7-1 start

Experienced team is finding early season success on the field

By Fiona Edberg - Staff Writer | Jun 27, 2021

The Diamonds are off to a great start. Pictured above, front row, left to right, are Olivia Dutton, Taylor Klabunde, Berkley Hagedorn, Roxanne Quintero. Back row, left to right, Kylee Eckmann, McKenna Dutton, Clara Ziegler and Claire Sullivan. Not pictured Ashlyn Klinkner, Hannah Meyer and MaKenzie Benschoter.

Softball season is in full swing for the Blue Earth Area Diamonds softball team. Michelle Klinkner, coach of the 16-18 year old division of the Diamonds, has nothing but positive news to share about her team’s performance this summer.

“The season is going very well,” says Klinkner.

“We have played four double header games so far, and the team has a 7-1 record.”

So far this season, Klinkner’s division has only lost one game to the Maple River Eagles. Otherwise, they remain undefeated in the rest of the games they have played throughout the summer.

The team’s success may be due to plenty of past experience playing together.

“Most of the team plays school ball together earlier in the spring,” explains Klinkner.

Klinkner clarifies that a few girls from schools besides Blue Earth Area High School have joined the team. For example, one player attends United South Central High School in Wells.

Most team members, however, have the advantage of playing together both at school and through the non-school affiliated Southern Star league.

Due to the spread of COVID-19 last summer, the team participated in a shortened 2020 softball season that lasted just for the month of July. However, Klinkner is certain that less time together last year has not had a negative impact upon the Diamonds’s 2021 summer season.

“This is a group of kids who have played together for many years,” says Klinkner.

Klinkner’s enthusiasm demonstrates the power of so much shared practice time and so many shared games. The pandemic could not erase the team’s years of common experiences.

The Diamonds will gain yet more playing experience together as they finish out the rest of their season for the summer. They still have several games left to play.

“The Southern Star Qualifier game is at Caswell Park in Mankato on July 16- 18,” shares Klinkner. “The team’s last game is on July 22.”

So, community members still have time to come watch the Diamonds shine at what they do best. The rest of the season is looking bright.

Blue Earth 9, Cleveland 8

The Blue Earth Diamonds 16/18U took the win against Cleveland for a 9-8 victory on Thursday night, June 17.

Cleveland got things started in the first inning when they hit a double on a 0-1 count, scoring two runs.

Blue Earth pulled away with four runs in the third inning. Claire Sullivan singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring two runs, and Olivia Dutton singled on a 3-2 count, scoring two runs.

Kylee Eckmann was on the rubber for the Blue Earth Diamonds. The righthander surrendered five runs on five hits over five innings, striking out seven Cleveland batters.

Blue Earth built a four-run lead in the sixth inning.

Cleveland Orange scored three runs in the seventh inning leaving them short of the Diamonds’ one run lead.

The now 5-1 Blue Earth Diamonds 16/18U continue their season, playing on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.