The Faribault Falcons scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back in a 10-0 five inning victory over the Owatonna Huskies in Owatonna tonight.  The game at Morehouse Park featured all but one of the outs recorded by the Huskies coming by a McKayla Armbruster strikeout.

Armbruster had 14 strikeouts, walked a batter and hit a batter in the game.  The lone hit by Owatonna was a two out triple by cleanup hitter, senior Patricia Biegert in the fourth inning.  Armbruster threw 79 pitches, 57 for strikes in getting her 9th shutout of the year.  Faribault's record improved to 15-1 overall and 7-1 in the Big Nine.

The Falcons started their four run first inning rally after an out was recorded against freshman Huskies starting pitcher Parris Hovden.  Ellie Knutson worked the count full before getting on base by an error.  Armbruster swung at the first pitch and had a perfectly placed fly ball land in shallow right field to place runners at first and second base with one out.  Senior catcher Abby Van Ryn was walked to load the bases.  Senior center fielder Lexi Velander hit a grounder that resulted in an error scoring Knutson.  After a second out was recorded designated player senior Katelin Vogt hit a grounder that resulted in another error scoring a run.  #8 batter sophomore Lindsay O'Neil was walked with the bases loaded.  #9 batter senior Lauren O'Neil smacked an RBI single and the Falcons were up 4-0.  Ten batters would come to the plate in the opening inning.

Ellie Knutson led the second inning off with a solid single to right center field.  Armbruster hit a grounder to first and was tagged out. It was a productive one because Knutson was at third base.  Van Ryn executed a perfect bunt for a hit down the first base line scoring Knutson.  Velander had a single, Steinberg an RBI single.  Vogt was safe on an error.  Lindsay O'Neil clubbed a 2 RBI double and Lauren O'Neil had an RBI single.  Ten people came to the plate and the score was 9-0 after two innings.

The Huskies made a pitching change in the third inning.  Junior Kaitlyn Medole came in and stymied the Falcons with her quirky delivery and excellent changeup.  Medole was greeted with a Ellie Knutson double that looked like it was going to clear the fence off the bat.  It smacked up against the fence 215 feet from home plate.

Then came one of the oddest things I've seen in a game.  Armbruster crushed the ball right back at the pitcher who ducked in self defense.  The ball bounded from the shoulder of Medole right to third basemen Hovden on the fly doubling Knutson off third base for the double play.

Medole threw the last 3 innings for Owatonna and held the Falcons to 1 run on 5 hits.  The one run that scored was the only walk allowed by the junior right hander.

Zoe Morrissey came in to bat in the top of the 5th inning and walked.  Abby Lake had what amounted to a swinging bunt and was safe at first.  She went to second  thanks to a throwing error by the catcher.  Morrissey would score the 10th run after a Knutson RBI single.  Armbruster hit the ball hard right at third baseman Hovden who tagged Lake out trying to get back to third base.  Knutson stole third base but was stranded there to end the top of the 5th.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game were Armbruster, Knutson, Steinberg and Lauren O'Neil.

The Minnesota High School Softball Coaches Association came out with their latest state rankings and Faribault was #2.  The top four are all Big Nine schools.  Mankato West, Faribault, Northfield and Winona.  Mankato East is #9 in the poll and will be the next opponent for Faribault.  The two collide Saturday morning at 11:00 in North Alexander Park.

The Huskies are at Red Wing Tuesday.