Polars fastpitch second to Woodbury, again

For the third straight year, the section championship in high school fastpitch softball came down to North and Woodbury. For the second year in a row, the title went to the Royals. 

A lead-off home run in the bottom of the sixth inning was the only run of the Section 4AAAA final as Woodbury beat the Polars 1-0 to make it back-to-back state-tournament berths. 

The final, played on June 2, turned into a pitchers’ duel as North’s Madeline Greer battled Woodbury’s Ashley Mickschl. Greer’s only mistake was the home run that the Royals’ Meagan Bliese hit to left-center.

Mickschl was even tougher as she escaped a couple of late jams that saw North advance a runner to second with one out in both the fifth and seventh innings. Neither of those runners were able to advance.

That North was able to advance to the section final was a bit of surprise after what happened to it earlier in the tournament. The Polars were the No. 2 seed, behind only Woodbury, but was upset in the first round by seventh-seeded Roseville.

That opening-round loss dropped North into the losers bracket, where it faced the task of winning four straight games to reach the section final. The Polars began that trek with a wild 19-12 win over Stillwater on May 26. North then beat Cretin-Derham Hall 7-2 and Hill-Murray 5-1 on May 31 before getting revenge on Roseville in the losers-bracket final on June 1. 

North fell behind Roseville 2-0 but rallied for a 6-4 victory to set up another showdown with Woodbury.

The Royals entered the section final having outscored their opponents 16-0 in their first three playoff games. By blanking North in the final, Woodbury made it four straight shutouts, which was the same number it had during the regular season.

North finished the season with a record of 21-5.



The Pioneers were the No. 6 seed in the Section 4AAAA playoffs and went 2-2 in the post-season. 

Hill-Murray opened the section tournament with an upset of third-seeded Stillwater, but was then itself upset by seventh-seeded Roseville in the second round. The Pioneers survived one elimination game by beating eighth-seeded White Bear Lake 5-1 but then lost by the same score to second-seeded North in the next round.

Hill-Murray closed out the season with a record of 12-12.



The fourth-seeded Titans scored three runs in both of their playoff games and both times that wasn’t enough. Tartan fell 5-3 to fifth-seeded Cretin-Derham Hall in the first round and 4-3 to eighth-seeded White Bear Lake in the second.

Tartan finished the season with a record of 14-8.




Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.



Section 4AAAA fastpitch softball playoffs

Double elimination

First round

Game 1 -- Woodbury 4, White Bear Lake 0

Game 2 -- Cretin-Derham Hall 5, Tartan 3

Game 3 -- Hill-Murray 5, Stillwater 2

Game 4 -- Roseville 2, North 0


Second round

Game 5 -- Woodbury 9, Cretin-Derham Hall 0

Game 6 -- Roseville 2, Hill-Murray 1

Game 7 -- White Bear Lake 4, Tartan 3

Game 8 -- North 19, Stillwater 12


Third round

Game 9 -- Woodbury 3, Roseville 0

Game 10 -- Hill-Murray 5, White Bear Lake 1

Game 11 -- North 7, Cretin-Derham Hall 2


Fourth round

Game 12 -- North 5, Hill-Murray 1


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