Crusader Softball brings home second-ever state title

By ElsaJurrens

Marian varsity softball team huddles up before the state championship aganist Gretna in Hastings, NE on Oct. 14. Photo by ElissaEisele

The Marian Softball team took home the 2022 Class A softball state championship on Oct.14. After a disappointing end to the season last year, the Crusaders worked hard on and off season to achieve their goals. Senior Emma Humpal said, “our team goal was just to do better than last year, we weren’t going to settle for anything less than the state title.” 

The first game of the tournament was played against Lincoln Southwest. The team won 8-0. The Marian softball team won their first game against Gretna 2-1 in the semi finals, then played Gretna the next day in the championship, winning 4-3. Senior Maddia Groff, scored the game winning run. Groff also earned the title, Metro Conference Player of the Year. She pitched 157 innings, averaging two strikeouts per inning. This totalled to 307 strikeouts this year. 

Marian Softball head coach Chad Perkins, took home the title of Metro Conference Coach of the Year. Perkins had more than 150 career wins. 

The girls had to keep a resilient mindset to win the game. Humpal said, “our saying, ‘burn the boat’ helped remind us that there was no turning back, we were going to lay everything on the line to win.” Putting everything on the line is exactly what the Crusaders did, as everyone, from swingers to starters stepped up and helped contribute to their success. 

The Marian softball team members triumphantly raise their State trophy on Oct. 14 in Hastings, Nebraska. In a nail-biting effort, Marian softball won its second state championship in school history over the Gretna Dragons. Many parents and a few students made the drive to support their Crusaders while many others watched online. The team scored three runs in the final inning, winning 4-3. The first two runs of the inning came after a thunderous home run from senior Rylinn Groff. The final play ended with senior Maddia Groff beating the ball to home plate and sliding in.“If I was going to get out, I should get out trying to score,” Maddia Groff said. They finished their season with a 33-2 record. Photo by ElissaEisele

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