MOUNDRIDGE — It’s a virtual given that Chase County’s softball team will be playing for the Class 2-1A state championship on Friday in Pratt.
But who will face the Bulldogs in the finals?
Moundridge would certainly like to step up and be that team, especially since it’s on the opposite side of the bracket.
“Chase County will be the team to beat,” Moundridge coach Clark Wedel said. “Three-time defending champions and undefeated this year makes them the team that everyone is looking up to.”
The Wildcats, who were swept late in the season by the Bulldogs, are making their first state appearance since 2006. They advanced by upsetting No. 1-seed Ellinwood in the regional finals at Galva, though there are some who really didn’t believe it was that much of a surprise because of Moundridge’s tough regular-season schedule.
“Our team has a so-so record (13-9), but we are better than our record,” Wedel said. “My hope is that our schedule this year and our ability to get by Ellinwood in regionals will build some confidence in our players. We have the ability to compete just fine at this level, but will need to believe in ourselves and be mentally tough. Our four seniors have been playing at the varsity level for several years. This experience will be valuable at state.”
Moundridge opens against Medicine Lodge at 5 p.m. Thursday.
“They look like a solid team with only two losses,” Wedel said. “From what I have found out they have a senior pitcher who will be good and then another freshman pitcher they use also. They will be a challenge for us.”
Wedel didn’t say who would start on the mound against the Chiefs, but Emily Knight and Elizabeth Ratzlaff are the contenders.
“We have pitched both Emily and Elizabeth all year,” he said. “We will need to make the plays that are there for us to make. Offensively, we seem to be peaking at the right time. We have several players that are swinging it pretty well right now.”
Knight was the winning pitcher in the championship game against Ellinwood, with Michelle Schrag and Chelsey Knight leading the way offensively with three hits apiece. Knight scored three runs and Schrag drove in two.
• BRACKET •
5:00 — Chase County (23-0) vs. Pittsburg Colgan (6-17)
5:00 — Moundridge (13-9) vs. Medicine Lodge (19-2)
7:00 — Yates Center (19-4) vs. McLouth (19-4)
7:00 — Dexter-Cedar Vale (20-3) vs. Ell-Saline (17-4)
11:00 — Chase County-Pittsburg Colgan winner vs. Yates Center-McLouth winner
11:00 — Moundridge-Medicine Lodge winner vs. Dexter-Cedar Vale-Ell-Saline winner
1:00 — Third-place game
2:00 — Championship game