Softball: Park wins two games, will play in state championship Friday
NORTH MANKATO — The curse is broken.
The last couple of seasons the Park Wolfpack softball team has reached the state tournament and has had trouble in the first round. Thursday night, that wasn't an issue.
The first Wolfpack opponent was Lakeville North and the first couple of innings made Park fans worried about that "curse."
Once the third inning came the Wolfpack team collected a couple runs and kept that lead for the entirety of the game. Between the fifth and sixth innings, Park scored a combined seven runs and relied on their three, four and five hitters to combine for seven of the nine RBIs.
The Wolfpack finished the game with a 9-0 final score and advanced to the semifinals of the AAAA state tournament.
"It was nice to get the curse broken," said Park head coach Bob Loshek. "I honestly didn't know it was a curse, but I'm glad we can look past it now."
Park had to look past it quickly because a couple hours later it was time for its semifinal game against Centennial. As the No. 1 seed, the Wolfpack had the expectation of making the championship game, but it wasn't a guarantee.
Luckily for Park, the bats were on fire from the leadoff batter to the nine hole. Out of the nine players, six of them recorded an RBI and that's all the pitchers needed for their performance. They actually only needed one run as Park won 10-0 in six innings to advance to the state championship.
The duo on the mound for the Wolfpack is a combination of Bryanna Olson and Samantha Fohrman who work well in each game together.
"It's nice to change pitchers halfway through the game because it makes it difficult for the hitters to adjust," Olson said. "It's a nice duo, but it's also nice to have a strong defense and offense behind you to get runs on the board for us."
The Wolfpack will need to continue that defense and offense heading into its last game of the season and an opportunity to bring home a state title to Cottage Grove. It won't be an easy task against Stillwater, but Madi Meduna knows it's possible to earn a victory.
"We played them a couple times this season," Meduna said. "Both times were close games and it takes a team effort to win. We are ready for the challenge though."
That challenge will start at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon in North Mankato at Caswell Park. It'll be the only game for the Wolfpack tomorrow, but it's a chance to bring back a state title for the first time in quite a long time.