Bethlehem Academy Fastpitch with Nothing to Lose
The Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals have had an amazing postseason run. Before the end of the season Head Coach Maren Viland told KDHL her team would more than likely get a home game in the first round of the Section 4A Softball Tournament.
That did not happen. The Cardinals received the #6 seed and proceeded to win all but one of their games and advance to Thursday's title game against Class A #1 rated Randolph.
The Cardinals need to win two games to advance to state while Randolph needs one win. The Rockets are undefeated this season.
Bethlehem Academy is a very young team with six 8th graders. The first time I saw them play this season I thought the future looked very bright. Coach Viland and Assistant Scott Trump have done an amazing job of getting this team to play focused each at bat, each pitch thrown, each ground ball or fly ball in the field during these playoffs and go 4-1 on the road to the Seciton 4A title game or they hope games.
They have nothing to lose Thursday. The pressure is entirely on Randolph. A senior dominated team that believes they could have won a state title last year and looking to repeat this season.
Bethlehem Academy is 12-10. Randolph 23-0. First pitch is 4:30 p.m. in Randolph. If the Cardinals win there will be a second game.
In other area Section Softball:
- Section 1A Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (19-3) plays Wabasha-Kellogg (13-11) 5:00 p.m. at Todd Park in Austin. The Buccaneers need one win to advance to the MSHSL State Tournament. If the Falcons win the first game, another will follow.
- Section 1AA St. Charles (31-3) tangles with Zumbrota-Mazeppa (19-4) 5:00 p.m. at Todd Park in Austin. The Saints are one win away from marching into Fastpitch Heaven. The MSHSL State Tournament in North Mankato next week.
- Section 1AAA Winona (18-5) plays at Todd Park Austin with only one win needed against the Cinderella of the Tournament Kasson-Mantorville (15-8). Game time is 5:00 p.m. A KoMets win means a second game for the crown.
- Section 1AAAA Lakeville North (16-5) needs one win against crosstown rival Lakeville South (12-11) to advance to the MSHSL State Softball Tournament. Unlike previous years the two teams are not jumping on buses and going to Austin to play. The first game is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday at Aronson Park in Lakeville. Second game would follow if necessary.
- Section 2A Springfield (18-5) needs one win to gain state. The Tigers play Nicollet Raiders (18-6) at 5:00 p.m. Caswell Park North Mankato.
- Section 2AA LeSueur-Henderson (20-1) ranked #1 in Class AA throughout the season needs one win to advance to MSHSL State Tournament. Fellow Minnesota River Conference member Belle Plaine (16-6) is their opponent. The game time and location is not on the MSHSL Section 2AA bracket.
- Section 2AAA Mankato West (19-4) is a win away from another MSHSL State Tournament trip. The Scarlets play crosstown rival Mankato East (19-5). In the final Minnesota Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association poll Mankato West was #1, Mankato East #2.
Area baseball Section title games;
- Section 1A Hayfield (21-0) plays Lyle-Pacelli (19-3) 5:00 p.m. at Riverland College in Austin. A second game would follow first if L-P wins.
- Section 1AA Plainview-Elgin-Millville (20-3) has not lost in the postseason and tangles with Rochester Lourdes (20-3) In the final coaches poll the Eagles were #2, Bulldogs #8. Game is 5:00 p.m. at Mayo Field in Rochester with second game to follow if necessary.
- Section 1AAA title game was played Wednesday in Red Wing with Albert Lea (12-11) punching their ticket to the MSHSL State Tournament following a thrilling 8-5 win over Byron (17-6).
- Section 1AAAA title game was also held Wednesday at New Prague. Top seed Farmington (18-6) downed #7 seed Rochester Mayo (11-14) by a 4-1 score to advance to the MSHSL State Touranment next week.
- Section 2AA Belle Plaine (17-4) one win from Section title plays Cannon Falls (12-11) 5:00 p.m. on KDHL 920 AM, 97.9 FM, KDHL app.
- Section 4A Randolph (21-0) needs one win over Mayer Lutheran (11-11) Thursday. First game is 2:30 p.m. at Murray Field in Randolph.
The MSHSL State Baseball Tournaments are held at different sites.
According to the MSHSL State Brackets Class A and Class AA will be played at Faber and Putz Fields in St. Cloud. Class AAA at the Mini-Met in Jordan. Class 4A at Chaska Athletic Park.
Due to COVID the first round is do or die with no consolation games at the MSHSL State Baseball Tournament. There will be a third place game for the semi-final losers.
First games are Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Semi-Finals Wednesday, June 16. Third place games will follow at the various tournament sites. Championships for all the classes are at Target Field on Friday, June 18.
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