Softball: Wolfpack wins, now win away from state
As expected, it's third-ranked Park vs. sixth-ranked Eastview for the Section 3AAAA title Friday and a trip to state.
Park advanced to Friday's section finals with a 4-0 win over Eastview Thursday, finishing a game which went four innings Tuesday before being stopped by the weather. The Wolfpack added an insurance run in the fifth inning on a run-scoring single by junior catcher Saren Croker and had more than enough pitching and defense to get past the Lightning.
Now they'll have to do it at least one more time.
The Wolfpack (21-1) will play Eastview (18-5) again for the section title, with the first game set to begin at 3 p.m. at Richfield Middle School. If Eastview wins the first game, a second game will follow shortly after the first.
"To beat Eastview, I think (we) just need to come out and attack again, the way we did the other day," said Park coach Bob Loshek. "Today we came out and played good enough. Played good enough defense, put the ball in play well enough but we need to attack and hit the ball the way we did on Tuesday."
Eastview edged Eagan 5-3 Thursday evening to gain the finals.
Park will be going for its third straight section title and third consecutive trip to the Class AAAA state tournament.
The Wolfpack actually got all the runs they needed in the first inning Thursday. Delaney Young opened the game with a single and Madi Medina followed with a double to centerfield. Riley Perryman then knocked in a run. Park made it 3-0 in the third on a run-scoring single by Shelby Schabacker.
That's where the game stood until Thursday's restart.
Park added another run in the fifth on a walk to Riley Perryman and an RBI single by Croker.
After shutting out the Lightning through four innings Tuesday, junior starting pitcher Bryanna Olson struggled a bit Thursday and was relieved by sophomore Sam Fohrman with two out in the fifth inning. Fohrman struck out the one batter she faced in the fifth, then set the Eastview side down in order in the sixth and seventh.
Olson struck out six, walked one and gave up three hits — all in Thursday's game.
Fohrman allowed no hits and struck out two in the seven batters she faced.
"Sam Fohrman's (outside fastball) was looking really, really good today," said Park catcher Lindsey Strom. "She was just throwing it really beautiful. There was a lot of movement on it."
Young was 3-for-4 with a double and two singles to lead the Park hitters. Meduna was 2-for-4 with a double. Crocker was 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI and Corinna Loshek had a pair of singles.