Softball: Royals tripped by Spring Lake Park 5-2, face Irondale on Friday

The Rogers Royals were upended by Halley Jones and the Spring Lake Park Panthers 5-2 in the third round of Section 5AAA playoffs at home Thursday.

The No. 2 seeded Royals (18-2) dropped into sudden-death play against Irondale at home Friday at 4:15 p.m. The No. 3 Panthers (20-1) will take on No. 1 Maple Grove on Tuesday in the upper bracket in Maple Grove. The Rogers-Irondale winner will meet the Maple Lake-Spring Lake Park loser later Tuesday.

Jones gave up six hits and no walks, striking out six, as she snapped Rogers’ 10-game win streak and extended the Panthers’ streak to 14.

“She got ahead of us in the count, moving the ball in and out, and threw enough change-ups to keep us off balance,” said Rogers coach Jerry Bruns.

Kaitlyn Lloyd delivered a two-run double in the fifth inning that pulled the Royals within 3-2 but that was all Jones would yield. Lloyd had three of the six hits.

While Rogers suffered five errors and gave up three unearned runs, Bruns said Spring Lake Park’s main advantage was aggressiveness.

“They attacked at the plate more than we did, and put the ball in play. That’s what you’ve got to do. But we made it tough on ourselves.”

Rogers starter Katelyn Kemmetmueller gave up seven hits and three runs (one unearned) in 4 2/3 innings, walking two. Normally double-digits in strikeouts, she fanned just three Panthers. Melea Bruns gave up three hits, three walks and two unearned runs in 2 1/3 innings.

The Panthers got 10 hits from seven players, with Rachel Kliesk knocking in two runs.