Blair-Taylor softball to make state debut

Wildcats head to state softball tourney

Blair Taylor juniors McKenna Nehring and Janesa Janzen are starting to get the butterflies ahead of Thursday's Division 5 state tournament game.

"Going into school, I was really nervous.  I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep," McKenna Nehring said.

"I have the exciting feeling, but I also have the nervous feeling," Janesa Janzen said.

Not only will Nehring and Janzen be making their state debut, the Blair-Taylor softball team is making their first trip to state in school history.

"It's just been an honor for me and the team," Nehring said.

"It's unbelievable when you think about it.  To finally get, that I really didn't figure, as experienced as some of those other teams, to do it is just amazing," head coach Greg Bartina said.     

Starting four freshman and having no seniors on the roster, the Wildcats have won a school record 23 games versus only 3 losses.  

"A lot of them have played together since they could probably stand up with a glove in their hand.  So they just all know what each other can do," Bartina said.    

And luckily for the young Wildcats, they'll be seeing a lot of familiar faces in the stands in Madison.

 "Brought the state tickets, 200, they sold them out by 11 o'clock in the morning.  T-shirt sales have gone nuts.  The whole community is unbelievable how they're getting behind these girls," Bartina said.     

It's new territory for the Wildcats.  But head coach Greg Bartina is treating this just like the 426 games he coached before.

"We're here to have fun and play ball.  The pressures on them.  And I think that's a little bit how these girls are going to approach the state thing," Bartina said. 

"This is just the 27th game of our season.  We can do it.  We've been doing it the rest of this whole year and that we can beat them," Janzen said.     


Reporting in Blair, Bryan McLoone, News 8 Sports.


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