Marian beats Gretna to win Class A softball state title
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - After falling to Gretna twice in the regular season, accounting for Marian’s only two losses of the year, the Crusaders slayed the Dragons twice in 24 hours on their way to a Class A state championship.
Gretna fought their way back from the elimination bracket after being knocked out of the winner’s bracket by Marian Thursday. The Dragons needed two wins Friday afternoon to be crowned state champs and it looked like they were going to pull it off early on.
Senior infielder Faith Mills got the Dragons on the board first in the top of the first inning with an RBI double to center field, sending sophomore Skarlett Jones home. The scoring came to a halt for the next four innings until Marian senior Payton Kincaid hit a solo dinger to left in the bottom of the fourth to knot the game at 1.
In the top of the sixth, Mills ripped a two-run homer to center to give Gretna a 3-1 lead. The Dragons held the lead until the bottom of the seventh when senior catcher Rylinn Groff goes yard with a two run home run of her own tying the game at 3. Four batters later, with two outs, freshman Brooklyn Kincaid laid down a bunt. An overthrow at first base allowed senior pitcher Maddia Groff to round third where she got caught in a rundown. Groff slid into home, but Gretna dropped the tag giving Marian the winning run, beating the Dragons 4-3.
“They refuse to lose. I mean they’ve been so relaxed all year long which has just been great,” said Marian head coach Chad Perkins. “I think that has to do with our tremendous senior leadership. They’re awesome. They don’t get rattled. And it’s just pitch by pitch has been the motto all year long and they’ve really lived up to that.”
”We knew that we had to have the attitude that we were going to win and I think we did that today. We didn’t give up until the final out as we showed today,” said Maddia Groff.
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