Blair-Taylor softball hoping third time’s the charm at state tournament

The undefeated Blair-Taylor Wildcats are back at the Division 5 State Tournament for the third straight year and hoping this one ends with a title.

The Dairyland champs put their perfect record on the line against Gilman at Goodman Diamond this Thursday. Junior pitcher Lauren Steien has led the way in the circle for the Wildcats, with 25 wins in 25 starts and a 1.03 ERA. Offensively the team has balance up and down the order. The eight athletes that have played at least 25 games all have batting averages at .400 or better.

With Steien’s pitching and hitting balance, both coaches and players believe they have reasons to be confident.

“”What [Steien] does is just amazing,” head coach Greg Bratina said. “She just doesn’t get rattled. How she can just pull back and find it and get the pitch that she wants to throw.

“We tried to build our schedule with some good teams so we could get used to this a little bit,” Bratina said. “They’ll go to me sometimes and I’m like, ‘Hey girls come on,”‘and they’re like, ‘Don’t worry Coach, we got this.’ And they do. The experience they’ve built over the last few years is just phenomenal.”

First pitch against Gilman at the state tournament is set for 7 p.m. Thursday night.

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