Irish return to state with an agenda

By Brenda Erdahl:

The Maple Lake softball team went into the 2018 season knowing they had unfinished business to take care of.

Last year the crew battled their way to an unprecedented 26-0 season before falling to defending 2A Champion Zumbrota- Mazeppa in the final game of the Minnesota State High School League Softball Tournament.

After a minor setback in the Section 5AA tournament this spring, the Irish proved they were the better team and are once again on their way to state and this time, they want it all.

“Our key word this year is redemption. We are going for that state championship. We want it. We are hungry,” Irish pitcher Calli Maki said.

After cruising through the regular season with 20 wins, not a single loss, and giving up only one run in the first two games of the section tournament, the Irish encountered their first obstacle on their way to that blue ribbon.

On Thursday, May 29, the No. 1 seeded Maple Lake suffered its first defeat of the season and it was at the hands of No. 2 seed Norwood-Young America. The 5-4 loss dropped them down into the loser’s bracket where they would have to battle their way back into position for that top spot.

On Wednesday, May 30, the Irish started their ascent, felling No. 3 seed Litchfield 12-1 for another shot at Norwood- Young America. This time they would have to defeat their rival twice in a same-day doubleheader for the desired Section 5AA Title and return trip to state.

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