There is the good news. Mabel-Canton softball doesn’t have to worry about an “if only” scenario as it pertains to state. The Cougars are Section 1A softball Runner-Ups emphatically. They beat everyone they faced in the post-season, save for Section 1A champs #2 in Class A Waterville-Elysian-Morristown. Twice the Buccaneers downed the Cougars definitively. Then there is the bad news. For seniors Maddy Michels, Hannah Snell, and Lexi Thorson, it is over. Twice this year (volleyball), the trio captained teams that played for state, but fell short. In M-C’s second trip to Austin in three years, they (East 2-seed, 14-6) first were felled by W-E-M (West 1-seed, 20-0) in the “chair” game. The final was 7-0. The Cougars had just three hits (Kenidi McCabe/Payton Danielson 1-3, 2B) versus Buc junior pitcher Trista Hering (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, Win). Herring went 3-for-3 (RBI). Brielle Bartelt (2-4, 2 R) and Lindsay Condon (2-3, 2B, R) had two hits for WEM. Autumn Taylor (1-4, 3B) and Allison Rients (1-4, 2B) each had 2-run extra base hits. M-C (14-7) then faced BP (11-11) in an elimination game. The Blossoms came in having just rallied to beat W-K 8-5. M-C got four in the first (4-1) and three more in the third (7-2). BP scored three in the fourth (7-5). But Jordyn Newgard’s 2-run double in M-C’s fourth sparked another 3-run inning. Leading 10-5, M-C took advantage of four walks in the bottom of the fifth. A Thorson RBI-single ended it by 10-run rule. Kati Bergey’s Cougars prevailed 15-5. Newgard (2-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R), Thorson (2-3, RBI, 2 R), and Danielson (2-4, RBI, 3 R) had multiple hits. Emily Carolan (1-4, 2B) had 3 RBI and picked up the win (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Molly Lee (1-3, 2 RBI, 2 R) and McCabe (1-3, 2B, RBI, R) helped the cause. The Cougars had 11 hits and walked six times. M-C (15-7) then trekked back to Austin two days later, needing to beat W-E-M (21-0) twice. The Buccaneers were decisive in the only game needed, a 10-0 win in five innings. Herring faced one over the minimum (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, Win). WEM had a 6-run second. Kylie Pittman (1-3, HR, 2 RBI) and Ellie Ready (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI) had the biggest hits. M-C’s excellent season ends at 15-8 as Section 1A Runner-Up, their best finish since the 1990s. Five-year starters Michels, Snell, and Thorson were key in helping M-C go 44-23 the last three years.
About Paul Trende