The Stillwater Ponies entered the Minnesota High School Girls Softball Tournament with a 13-13 record and defeated the #2, #3 and #1 seeds en route to the Class AAAA championship today in North Mankato.  Talk about a Cinderella story.  The Ponies galloped past #2 seed Forest Lake in the first round 8-4, then beat #3 seed Buffalo 14-4 in five innings before running past #1 Park 5-1 in the title game.

Last year a similar story happened in the largest schools division in the state.  The #5 seed Farmington Tigers defeated #2 seed Anoka in a classic championship game 1-0 in 10 innings.  Centennial beat Buffalo in the third place game 6-3 and Forest Lake edged Shakopee 1-0 in the Consolation Championship.

In Class 3A the Faribault Falcons are the third straight Big Nine Conference team to win the state title.  The #1 seed Falcons were led by junior pitcher McKayla Armbruster's one hitter in a 2-0 win over #2 seed North Branch.  It was Armbruster's 15th shutout of the season.  Mankato West won in 2016 and entered last year's tournament the #1 seed.  The Scarlets were upset in the semi-finals by #4 seed Hermantown.  Hermantown then faced Winona and the #3 seed Winhawks won 9-2 for the championship.

Hill-Murray won the third place game today 7-5 over Winona and Academy of Holy Angels rolled by Bemidji 12-1 in 6 innings in Class AAA.

In Class AA the Maple Lake Irish lost to Zumbrota-Mazeppa in the title game a year ago 4-1 but there was no Cougar team to deal with this season.  The #1 seed Irish made short work of the title game with a 11-1 win in five innings.

The Pipestone Arrows captured third place with a 1-0 win in 8 innings over Annandale and Cotter is the Consolation champion after a 6-0 victory over Esko.

The Class A state championship game was a repeat of last year and the results were the same also.  New York Mills beat Edgerton/Sw Minnesota Christian 9-6.  Last year the Eagles won 8-4.

Randolph in their first state tournament in any sport won the third place trophy and individual medals 4-1 over New Ulm Cathedral and Carlton is the Consolation Champion following a 6-1 win over Badger/Greenbush-Middle RIver.

Faribault Hoists State Championship Trophy-photo by Gordy Kosfeld