Proctor softball wins Section 7AA title in nail-bitter

[anvplayer video=”5179664″ station=”998130″]

Last year in the Class AA State title game, the Proctor Rails fell short 3-2 to Chatfield, and on Thursday, they would need one more win to secure their ticket back to state. The Rails took on Rock Ridge, who made their first Section 7AA Championship appearance in their first year as a co-op since combing both Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia schools.

The game was tied at one a piece in the bottom of the 5th until the Rails’ Anika Burke chipped the ball along the left field line and Brooklynne Patterson scored. The Wolverines then tied the game 3-3 in the sixth, forcing extra innings.

In the top of the ninth Patterson scored off a Emma Shelton RBI and the Rails won 4-3 earning a trip back to state.

“The grit all around the whole team; we never give up, and that’s what matters in the end,” said senior pitcher Maddy Walsh about her team’s performance.

Head coach Bud Joyce added, “We had three pretty key players to replace that took take us a while to figure that out, but I think towards about the last third of the season we figured out what we were going to do defensively. It didn’t always work out, but the kids played a lot better and that helped us here today.”

This section win marks the Rail’s second trip to state since 2006. The state softball tournament runs June 8-9 at Caswell Park in Mankato.