2023 Softball State Tournament Advance Release
Posted: Sunday, June 4, 2023 - 10:02 AM
Thirty-two teams will converge on Caswell Park in North Mankato on Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9 in a quest for championships in four enrollment classes during the Minnesota State High School League’s Softball State Tournament.
The League’s state tournament has been played since 1977. In the first two seasons, a single champion was crowned. Coon Rapids was the single-class champion in 1977 and Cambridge followed in 1978. From 1979 through 1999, a two-class system was used. A third enrollment class was added in 2000 and implemented through 2015. A four-class tournament was unveiled in 2016.
Here is a look at this season’s state tournament:
Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups
Class A, 1:30 p.m.
- No. 1 Randolph (22-1) vs. Upsala (23-2)
- No. 4 Bethlehem Academy (20-2) vs. No. 5 Edgerton/SW MN Christian (16-6)
- No. 2 Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (21-1) vs. Menagha (18-8)
- No. 3 Moose Lake/Willow River (20-3) vs. New Ulm Cathedral (17-6)
Randolph, the Class A champion in 2021 and third-place finisher last season, has been tabbed as the team to beat. The Rockets are on a 13-game winning streak since their only loss of the season to St. Anthony Village a month ago. Badger/Greenbush, a three-time Class A runner-up, has qualified for the 11th time since 2000. Moose Lake/Willow River was the Class A runner-up to Nicollet in 2022. The Rebels surrendered just one run in four Section 7A tournament games. Bethlehem Academy is making its state tournament debut. The Cardinals hit .383 as a team. Edgerton/SW MN Christian, a fourth-place finisher in 2022, has two Class A championships to its resume in four title-game appearances. Upsala returns for the second time in as many seasons. Menagha is on a 10-1 streak since May 15. New Ulm Cathedral, one of the most storied prep softball programs, defeated Sleepy Eye Saint Mary’s twice in the sectional to make its 18th state tournament trip.
- No. 1 LeSueur-Henderson (20-5) vs. Pequot Lakes (24-3), 9 a.m.
- No. 4 Pipestone Area (20-5) vs. No. 5 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (23-2), 9 a.m.
- No. 2 St. Charles (22-2) vs. Watertown-Mayer (17-9), 11:15 a.m.
- No. 3 Proctor (20-3) vs. St. Agnes (20-4), 11:15 a.m.
LeSeuer-Henderson will make the familiar trip down Highway 169, this time as the favorite in the Class AA field. A year ago, the Giants won the consolation final. Four of LeSuer-Henderson’s five losses are to Class AAAA schools. St. Charles, the Class AA runner-up in 2021, is on a five-game winning streak since losing to Class AAA’s Winona in the regular-season finale. Proctor returns as the Section 7A champion. A season ago, the Rails were the Class AA runner-up to Chatfield. Pipestone Area is making its 14th state tournament trip since 2003 when the Arrows were the Class AA runner-up. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton was the fourth-place finisher in 2022 and is making its eighth state tournament trip. Pequot Lakes returns for the first time since finishing as the Class AA runner-up in 2016. Watertown-Mayer is making its third state tournament trip and first since 2007. In 2006, the Royals were the Class AA runner-up. St. Agnes is on a 10-game winning streak since May 9.
Class AAA, 11:15 a.m.
- No. 1 Mankato East (21-3) vs. Rocori (14-9)
- No. 4 Becker (17-6) vs. No. 5 Cretin-Derham Hall (16-8)
- No. 2 Winona (20-2) vs. Delano (20-3)
- No. 3 Chisago Lakes (19-4) vs. Holy Angels (18-4)
Mankato East bounced back from a loss to New Prague in the Section 2AAA tournament with a victory over the Trojans in the section final to make the short trip to Caswell Park for the first time since 2012. The Cougars are 12-1 since May 9. Winona, the runner-up to Mankato West in Class AAA in 2022, lost its only matchup with Mankato East during the Big 9 Conference this season. The second game of a doubleheader was postponed. Chisago Lakes won the Section 7AAA crown for the second consecutive season. The Wildcats won the third-place game in the 2022 tournament. Becker played St. Francis four times in the past six games and won three of them, including the Section 5AAA final. Cretin-Derham Hall, the Class AA runner-up in 1991, is making its third state tournament trip and first in the past three seasons. The Raiders play in the ultra-competitive Suburban East Conference, which is mostly Class AAAA schools. Forest Lake and White Bear Lake Area, qualifiers in the Class AAAA field, are also members of the Suburban East. Rocori is on a 5-1 run spree entering the state tournament for the second consecutive season and ninth time overall. Delano is making its first state tournament appearance since 2005. Holy Angels was the Class A runner-up in 1999 and the Class AA champion in 2000.
Class AAAA, 9 a.m.
- No. 1 Rosemount (23-0) vs. Hopkins (15-7)
- No. 4 White Bear Lake Area (20-4) vs. No. 5 St. Michael-Albertville (20-3)
- No. 2 Maple Grove (21-2) vs. Farmington (17-9)
- No. 3 Forest Lake (20-3) vs. Shakopee (20-4)
Rosemount, the Class AAAA champion in 2021, is the only undefeated team in the four state tournament brackets. The Irish have scored 10 or more runs in 17 games this season. Rosemount was the first-ever Class AA champion in the two-class system that began in 1979. Maple Grove is also a former big-school state champion, winning the Class AAAA crown in 2019. The Crimson are on a seven-game winning streak and 14-1 since April 18. Forest Lake, the defending Class AAAA champion, is on an 11-game winning streak entering the state tournament. Seven shutouts are included in that run. White Bear Lake Area was the fourth-place finisher in 2022. St. Michael-Albertville is making its third state tournament trip since 2005. The Knights’ only loss in the past seven games is a setback to Maple Grove in the regular-season finale. Hopkins, a traditional big-school power since the 1990’s, captured the third-place trophy in 2022. Farmington, the Class AAAA champion in 2017, played seven games in the Section 1AAAA tournament and had to defeat Lakeville North twice in the process. Farmington is one of three schools from the powerful South Suburban Conference that have qualified in the big-school bracket. Rosemount and Shakopee are the others. Shakopee, on a seven-game winning streak, is playing in the state tournament for the first time since 2018 and fifth time overall.