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Thirty-two teams in search of softball state titles

Posted: Monday, June 6, 2022 - 8:44 PM

For Immediate Release:

Softball State Tournaments set to play this week in North Mankato

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. --- Thirty-two teams in four classifications will compete in the 2022 Minnesota State High School League’s Softball State Tournaments at Caswell Park in North Mankato on June 9 and 10. Caswell Park has been the host site for the softball state tournament since 1994.

Two reigning champions return in a repeat quest: Randolph in Class A and LeSueur-Henderson in Class AA.

Here is a look at the quarterfinal matchups on Thursday, June 9:

Class A

  • No. 1 Nicollet (21-2) vs. Menagha (16-9), 1 p.m. --- Nicollet is making its first state tournament appearance since 1982 and second overall. The Raiders are on a seven-game winning streak entering the state tournament with the past two against traditional state power, New Ulm Cathedral. Menagha is back for the first time since 2010 and the fourth trip overall for the Braves.  
  • No. 4 Red Lake Falls (24-1) vs. No. 5 Edgerton/SW MN Christian (17-6), 1 p.m. --- Red Lake Falls has won 23 consecutive games since opening the season 1-1. The Eagles are making their fourth state tournament appearance and first since 2017.  Edgerton/SW MN Christian is no stranger to the Class A field with eight state tournament appearances since 2014. In that span, the Flying Dutchmen have two championships and two runner-up finishes.
  • No. 2 Moose Lake/Willow River (24-4) vs. Wabasha-Kellogg (13-12), 1 p.m. --- The last time Moose Lake was in the state tournament was in 1982 when the Rebels won the second of two consecutive crowns. This current edition went 7-1 in the Section 7A playoffs to earn a spot in the Class A field. Wabasha-Kellogg, representing Section 1A, is making its second consecutive state tournament trip. During the Section 1A tournament, the Falcons outscored the opposition by a 64-to-18 margin in five games.    
  • No. 3 Randolph (20-4) vs. Upsala (20-3), 1 p.m. --- Randolph is the defending Class A champion and riding a 10-game winning streak. Upsala is making its state tournament debut and defeated traditional section power, New York Mills twice, during the postseason to earn that historic berth.  

Class AA

  • No. 1 Proctor (22-1) vs. Pipestone Area (15-9), 9 a.m. --- in its first state tournament trip since 2006, Proctor received the top seed and label of team to beat in the Class AA field. The Rails have not lost to a Minnesota team this season. Pipestone Area is making its seemingly annual trek to Caswell Park. Since 2001, the Arrows have won a championship and finished runner-up twice in 13 appearances.
  • No. 4 Maple Lake (22-2) vs. No. 5 St. Cloud Cathedral (24-2), 9 a.m. --- Maple Lake found the championship circle in 2018 and has had four other runner-up finishes since 2008. The Irish are 11-1 since a 2-0 loss to Proctor on May 7. Senior pitcher Taylor Hess has signed to play at Kentucky. St. Cloud Cathedral has two previous state tournament appearances. Those were in 1987 and 1986. The Crusaders are young and dynamic and boast a 24-1 record since a loss in the season opener.  
  • No. 2 LeSueur-Henderson (20-3) vs. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (21-4), 11 a.m. --- LeSueur-Henderson is the defending Class AA champion and poised for a possible repeat. Since three consecutive losses to Class AAAA schools in mid-May, the Giants are entering the state tournament on a five-game spree. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton has made its way to the state tournament for the fifth time since 2015 and seventh time overall. The Rebels opened the season with 13 consecutive victories.
  • No. 3 Chatfield (25-2) vs. Mounds Park Academy (19-2), 11 a.m. --- Chatfield is the Section 1AA champion and in the state tournament for the first time since 2009. The Gophers made their way through the losers bracket by defeating Cannon Falls twice by a combined 20-1 score. Mounds Park Academy is making its second consecutive trip and second overall. The Panthers’ only losses this season were to St. Anthony Village and St. Francis, two Class AAA schools.

Class AAA

  • No. 1 Winona (21-1) vs. Rocori (14-8), 11 a.m. --- Winona boasts the best record in the Class AAA field and is considered the team to beat. Since 2016, the Winhawks have been the Class AAA runner-up twice (2016 and 2021) and the champion in 2017. A lone loss to Mankato East during Big 9 Conference play is Winona’s only blemish. Rocori is in the tournament for the first time since 2018 and eighth time overall. The Spartans are 9-2 in their past 11 games.
  • No. 4 Chisago Lakes (20-4) vs. No. 5 Benilde-St. Margaret’s (14-7), 11 a.m. --- Chisago Lakes, the Section 7AAA champion, is making its state tournament debut. After losing to state power Hermantown in the second-to-last game of the regular season, the Wildcats are 5-0, including two victories over Hermantown in the postseason. Benilde-St. Margaret’s is making its fifth state trip since 2016. The Red Knights placed fourth in 2021.
  • No. 2 Mankato West (20-4) vs. Monticello (15-8), 11 a.m. --- Mankato West was the top seed in 2021 before settling for the third-place trophy. Two of Mankato West’s losses are to Hopkins and Rosemount of Class AAAA. The others were consecutive setbacks to Winona and Mankato East during Big 9 Conference play. Monticello is on an eight-game winning streak in making its first state tournament trip since 2004.   
  • No. 3 St. Anthony Village (22-2) vs. Simley (14-9), 11 a.m. --- St. Anthony Village won five consecutive games during the Section 4AAA playoffs to make a return trip to the state tournament. Since a loss to Delano on May 14, the Huskies are 9-1. Simley returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2016 and third overall. The Spartans, a member of the Metro East Conference, is 6-1 in its past seven games.

Class AAAA

  • No. 1 White Bear Lake (21-3) vs. Lakeville South (14-10), 9 a.m. --- It’s been two decades since White Bear Lake has been to the state tournament. The Bears ended that dryspell with three consecutive victories over Stillwater Area in the Section 4AAAA playoffs. Senior pitcher Chloe Barber is 18-3 with a 265 strikeouts. At the plate, she has 14 home runs and 42 runs batted in. Lakeville South was the Class AAA champion in 2014 in its only other state tournament trip. The Cougars open the season 1-6 and are since, 13-4.
  • No. 4 Forest Lake (19-5) vs. No. 5 Centennial (18-5), 9 a.m. --- Forest Lake is one of three schools from the Suburban East Conference to be in the big-school field. White Bear Lake and East Ridge are the others. The Rangers were the Class AAAA runner-up last season. Centennial defeated Forest Lake 7-1 on May 9. During the Section 5AAAA playoffs, the Cougars outscored the opposition 17-0 in making the state tournament for the second consecutive season.  
  • No. 2 Brainerd (24-0) vs. East Ridge (17-6), 9 a.m. --- Brainerd, which has shutout 11 opponents this season, returns for the first time since 2011. The Warriors have scored 10 or more runs 13 times this season. East Ridge is making its second state tournament appearance and first since 2019. The Raptors are paced by senior center fielder Avery Wukawitz, who is batting .651 with eight home runs. She has committed to play at the University of St. Thomas.  
  • No. 3 Chanhassen (21-1) vs. Hopkins (17-6), 9 a.m. --- University of Minnesota recruit Sydney Schwartz, a senior pitcher, leads Chanhassen in the circle with a 21-0 record, 1.24 earned run average and 209 strikeouts. She also has hit 13 home runs. The Storm’s only loss this season was to Hopkins on May 7. The Royals are the Section 6AAAA champion for the second consecutive season. Senior catcher Lauren Granger leads the way with a .493 average, 10 home runs and 45 RBIs.

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Board of Directors Meeting Release, June 7, 2022