by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Two big swings by Osseo’s Maddy Johnson knocked in six runs and swept No. 2 ranked Elk River from the unbeaten ranks 7-3 on Saturday.
Johnson, the No. 9 hitter for Osseo, victimized Elk ace Anna Pipenhagen twice at the Elk ballpark.
With two outs in the second, she ripped a line drive to deep center to drive home two runs for a 3-0 lead. In the top of the seventh, with the Orioles up 3-2, they loaded the bases on three grounders that found holes before the right-handed Johnson, with one out, crushed a Pipenhagen pitch over the fence in right-center for a grand slam.
“It was her first RBI’s, first double and first home run of the season. I believe it was her first home run ever,” said coach Eric Ruska.
The loss ended a 15-game win streak for the defending state champion Elks — seven last year in sectionals and state, and their first eight games this year. The Elks last loss was to Maple Grove in the 2013 conference finale.
Osseo has a 9-3 record, including 8-1 in the NWSC, losing to Anoka 6-0 on Friday. Maple Grove is 6-0 and Elk River 5-1 in conference.
This was the lone meeting of the Elks and Orioles in conference play.
Osseo’s Courtney Calkips out dueled Pipenhagen. The junior right-hander gave up nine hits and two walks, while striking out just three, but left nine Elks on base.
“Osseo played really well and it just was not our day,” said Stacey Sheetz, Elks coach. ” When Osseo scored right away I thought we would be OK (but) we just could not get our runners in. We had nine hits and they only had six but obviously they made their six count.”
Sheetz said Pipenhagen has been playing with a broken pinkie and it had a slight effect on some of her pitches.
Pipenhagen, who was 7-0 with just two earned runs allowed coming into the game, gave up six hits, seven runs (four earned) and two walks. She struck out six.
Marie Deaton and Michaela Bruns were each 2-for-3 for the Elks. Pipenhagen had a hit and RBI and Jess Neueman had a sac fly.
The Elks will play at Hopkins on Monday.