Who cares what you did in the regular season, what matters is what you do in the postseason. That’s what the Waldorf softball team is saying after taking the hard way to the final three of the North Star Athletic Association Tournament.
Waldorf came into the tournament as the 7th-seed after posting an 8-31 overall record; they were 6-21 in conference play.
They fell to the losers bracket losing their first game of the tournament to host and second seed, Bellevue, on Thursday. They fell behind in game 1 4-0 but scored three runs in the final three frames coming up just one run short. Getting to Saturday looked pretty grim for the Warriors. Waldorf coach Lexy Determan says it was a bit of a heartbreaker.
Thursday evening, they upset 6th seed Viterbo by hitting the 10-run rule in the fifth inning. In the win, Karle Leyvas went 3-4 with four RBI and three runs scored. Bree Hamblin and Katie Chapman also recorded three hits. Former North Butler prep Alex Mathers pitched all five innings allowing just one run and four hits.
Today, Waldorf had a big hill to climb. Their first game this afternoon was against 5th seed Dakota State. The Warriors lost all four games they played against the Trojans earlier this season. But on this day, Waldorf couldn’t be denied. Not only did they win for a second straight tournament game, but they also hit the 10-run rule again. Waldorf got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the fifth leading 13-0, but Mathers was able to work out of a jam, and Waldorf won 13-2. Former Central Springs prep Taylor Navratil went 3-4 with an RBI, three runs scored, and three stolen bases.
That set an afternoon date with fourth seed, Mayville State, who knocked off second seed Bellevue earlier in the day. Again, Waldorf was set to face a conference opponent they hadn’t been able to beat this year. They fell to the Comets in four games played on April 16th and 17th in Forest City. Today, after getting Mayville State out in the top of the first, Waldorf took no time announcing their presence. Karlee Leyvas hit a two-run bomb, and the Warriors were on the board. They faced adversity in the fifth as the Comets scored to cut the lead to one run. Waldorf came back in the bottom of that inning, and Navratil tripled to bring home the would-be winning run after Waldorf was caught stealing just moments before. Mayville State got one run again in the sixth, but Mathers got a 1-2-3 top of the seventh to send Waldorf to the final three beating Mayville State 3-2.
Waldorf will now play Valley City State University at 10 AM tomorrow in the loser bracket finals. The winner will advance to the championship game, where they will have to beat Dickinson State twice; the Blue Hawks are undefeated thus far in the tournament and advanced to the championship with a 3-0 win over Valley City in the winner’s bracket semifinals.
Determan said the team would take some time tonight to celebrate the wins and their seniors who will miss commencement tomorrow. They will then turn their focus to the Vikings.
If Waldorf makes the conference championship game, you will hear live on KIOW (107.3) tomorrow around 12 PM.
Zarren Egesdal is the sports director for Coloff Media radio stations KIOW and KHAM. He can be reached daily at email@example.com or 641-585-1073. Do you have a story idea? Feel free to contact him. Zarren is an award-winning journalist providing coverage to all area schools. Throughout the year, you will hear Zarren calling games as the ‘voice of the Forest City Indians’ on KIOW (107.3), the Indians flagship station.