Iola-Scandinavia and Pacelli win, Stratford loses in state softball semifinal action

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - Iola-Scandinavia won their first-ever game at state softball, while Pacelli scored five runs in the 7th inning to comeback and win in the state semifinals. Iola-Scandinavia and Pacelli will play in their respective state title games on Saturday, while Stratford lost in their first-ever appearance in the state tournament on Thursday.

Iola-Scandinavia advances to the state title game for the first time in program history with their upset of Grantsburg, who won last season’s Division 4 state championship. The Thunderbirds were first on the board in the first inning, when Clara Koles doubled in a run.

After Grantsburg tied it in the bottom half of the first inning, Iola-Scandinavia plated one run in the third inning on a Marin Hoyord single, and then scored two more in the fifth inning on a wild pitch and an RBI groundout. The Thunderbirds would cruise to a 5-3 upset victory and advance to the title game.

“Four is greater than one was our motto coming in so here we are, beating the one seed and it just feels really great to be here,” pitcher Maddie Much said. “It doesn’t even feel real right now, but we just play as a team so well and we’re a family and we all know what to do when the time comes and when the ball is hit we know what to do with it.”

Stratford made their first appearance at state in program history as a two-seed. After a scoreless contest thorough three and a half innings, Stratford busted the game open for four runs in the fourth inning. Emma Roeper and Kressa Wenzel drove in one, while Sonia Peterson drove in the last two to complete the inning.

The Tigers added another in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead, but the lead slowly dissipated. Waterloo scored three runs in the sixth inning, and then drove in three more in the seventh off Laney Pankratz to vault back in front and take a 6-5 lead and the eventual win.

The Cardinals beat Chippewa Falls McDonell 8-7 to advance to Championship Saturday

Pacelli looked to be on their last life as the top seed in Division 5, trailing 7-3 heading into the seventh inning. They scored five runs in the inning, including four with two outs, to come back and walk off against McDonell Catholic and advance to the state title game.

Wisconsin Rapids Assumption will play their state semifinal game on Friday morning at 8 am against Oakfield. The winner of Assumption and Oakfield will play Pacelli on Saturday at 8 am.

Iola-Scandinavia will play Waterloo in the Division 4 state title game on Saturday at 10:30 am.