– Opponents had no answer for Fari­bault junior pitcher McKayla Armbruster in the Class 3A softball state tournament.

"She attacks; she doesn't back down, and when you think she's getting a little tired, she just digs a little deeper and throws a little harder," Falcons coach Chris Silber said.

Armbruster gave up only one hit and struck out nine batters as Faribault captured its first state championship with a 2-0 victory over North Branch on Friday at Caswell Park. She threw a no-hitter to open the tournament Thursday vs. Bemidji, then gave up one run against Winona later in the day.

"My changeups, I think, were working really well again, and I was just making sure to throw down the middle because these girls are good hitters," Armbruster said.

North Branch senior pitcher Sam Pederson countered Armbruster's performance with eight strikeouts and five hits. Pederson, who has committed to Division II Minnesota Duluth, gave up one earned run over the state tournament.

"It was fun, actually," Pederson said about the pitching duel. "I was just confident the whole time."

Faribault scored in first inning when senior center fielder Allison Schak hit a double, stole third and scored after an errant throw. Senior shortstop Bre Bresnahan added an insurance run in the sixth when she scored on an error.

Bresnahan and her fellow Faribault seniors went out champions after joining the program as seventh-graders when the Falcons won one game in 2013.

"Looking back and looking how far we've came, it's just awesome," Bresnahan said.

MATTHEW DAVIS