State champion Giants relive thrilling title game
NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The 2021 Le Sueur-Henderson softball team made history by winning the school’s first-ever state title Wednesday.
The Giants topped St. Charles 7-4 in a thrilling, roller-coaster Class AA championship game highlighted with a catch for the ages.
“I saw it was up, knew it was going to be close, so I just went after it as hard as I could, reached my glove up, and it was in there,” said Halle Bemmels, LSH senior centerfielder.
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This unbelievable grab from senior Halle Bemmels robbed St. Charles of a grand slam at a key moment in the game. If Bemmels had not made the catch, the Giants would have trailed by at least one run going into the bottom half of the fifth inning, with the Saints taking the lead for the first time since the top half of the first.
“I didn’t even know how to react, I was like ‘what did I just do,’ and I’m glad I could do that for my team in such a big moment,” said Bemmels.
The catch heard across the state is a defining play in the Giants’ state championship run, and one to talk about for years to come.
“I’m not sure we’ve seen a better high school softball play that I’ve witnessed live. That one was insane,” co-head coach Eric Lewis said. “So many times over the last four years, the ball will go up in centerfield, and we all go ‘Halle!’ That one was hit so hard, we weren’t sure she had a shot. We knew it was gone if she couldn’t get to it. It was incredible.”
Bemmels also went 3-3 at the plate with a walk and scored three runs in the biggest game in Giants history. But the centerfielder was just one piece of this great team.
Olivia Fritz delivered with three hits and three RBI’s in the championship match-up, and her sister, Rhyan, drove in two. The dominant line-up produced seven runs, which is more than enough support for the team’s ace in the circle, Chloe Brandt. The right-hander delivered with 45 strikeouts in the state tournament.
“Anytime you have a pitcher that can take more outs out of the equation that aren’t put in play, it’s just a two-person game. As long as one of them doesn’t drop it, you’re in good shape. She was just on fire through this whole playoff. I can’t say enough about Chloe, she was dialed in, knew what she wanted. She just went right after it,” said Lewis.
Le Sueur-Henderson finishes a championship season with a 24-1 record.
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