LSH earns one seed entering third-consecutive state tournament appearance

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 3:46 PM CDT
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LE SUEUR, Minn. (KEYC) - There’s a lot to be learned about facing an underdog with experience in the postseason.

The two-time defending Section 2AA champion Le Sueur-Henderson softball team entered this year’s section tournament seeded fourth, and once again the Giants showed us why you should never count them out.

“Being the fourth seed this year, I think some people thought we were going to be lower than we ended up,” said Giants’ senior catcher Madison Wilbright. “Going into the finals, I think a lot of people doubted us.”

The Section 2AA title game came down to the top-seeded New Ulm Eagles and Le Sueur-Henderson. The Eagles, who needed to win twice, built a 7-1 lead after just two innings in the June 1st showdown.

As the game went on, LSH slowly closed the scoring gap and force extra innings.

In the bottom of the 8th, senior star Chloe Brandt capitalized on a one out, bases loaded situation to drive in the game-winning run, completing the comeback while punching a ticket to the state tournament.

“We knew it was going to be a dog fight,” said Brandt. “That’s what our coach had said all week, so New Ulm being the one seed we knew we would have to work extra hard. It gave us a lot of confidence getting that win against them on Saturday and we were able to get a little more comfortable with their pitching and their hitting styles.”

Brandt and three other seniors were on the team when the Giants brought home the Class AA hardware two years ago. Last season, LSH finished fifth in the state. But this time around, the group has shown they have the talent and experience to capture the program’s second title in three years.

“We talk a lot about leaving that legacy of working hard through this adversity and keep fighting, because it’s not just them,” said LSH softball assistant coach Anne Lewis. “It’s the whole community and I think you could see that here. We have such a great following and everyone is just so proud of these girls on and off the field.”

“With the four seniors that we have this year, this was or goal, to end our career at LSH back at Caswell Park,” added Brandt. “This is all we could’ve hoped for and we’re super excited to be able to end it here.”

The Giants earned the one seed and will open the Class AA tournament with a 9 a.m. first pitch against Pequot Lakes on Thursday at Caswell Park.