Four area softball teams advance to the state tournament

Assumption, Iola-Scandinavia, Pacelli and Stratford will all play at the state softball tournament next week
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:47 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - Heading into Thursday, six area softball teams battled for a shot at the state tournament. At day’s end, four of those teams have booked their trips for Madison and will compete at state next week. Assumption, Iola-Scandinavia, Pacelli and Stratford will all make state appearances next week.

First, in D1, SPASH faced off with Superior for the second straight year in the sectional final, with the Spartans wearing a year ago. It’d be a repeat of last year’s result as Superior would walk off SPASH in the bottom of the seventh to win 1-0, thanks to an infield hit with the bases loaded by Gabbi Saari. The Panthers got a terrific outing in the circle by Maren Sauvageau, but in the end, it’d be the Spartans on top. Afterward, SPASH head coach Tom Drohner said he’s proud of his team for growing throughout the season.

“We’ll be back. We have a really young nucleus and I just thought we battled,” said Drohner. “We proved this year that we could play with anybody and beat anybody, just didn’t fall our way today, but just really super proud of our kids for how they reacted in a tough situation, a tough game against a great team and just hats off to Superior. They’re very good.”

Elsewhere, in D4, Stratford battled Blair-Taylor for a state ticket. The Tigers got a big bases-loaded double in the fourth to Lexie Christopherson to give them a nice mult-run lead. From there, the pitching would get the job done as Stratford topped Blair-Taylor 4-1 to earn their first trip to state in school history. Afterward, their head coach Amanda Pankratz spoke as to what the accomplishment meant to the group.

“I don’t even think I can put it into words,” said Pankratz. “When I think back to this senior group, They missed a whole season due to COVID. We have nine seniors on that team, we have sophomores, we have juniors, we have freshmen and the joy is just for them because they deserve it.”

Stratford will not be the only area D4 team heading to Madison next week. Iola-Scandinavia is back at state for the second-straight year after topping Algoma 3-1 in Crivitz.

In D5, three area teams vied for a sectional crown. In New Lisbon, the Assumption Royals secured an opportunity to defend their state title by besting Seneca 5-0. Ava Schill tossed a complete game shutout as the Royals will head back to Madison for the second straight year. Also in D5, Pacelli topped Newman in Sevestapol 3-0 to earn their way to state for the third time in four seasons.

Finally, in playoff baseball, D.C. Everest extended their season by picking up a 3-2 win over Chippewa Falls in a storm-soaked contest. The Evergreens earned a regional title with the win and will face Hudson in the sectionals in Marshfield on Tuesday.