Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian has played in four of the past five Class 1A state tournaments and reached the last two championship games, but a state title has proven elusive for the Flying Dutchmen. Despite a lack of hardware, Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota remains a trophy for opponents, and when Luverne grounded the Flying Dutchmen 7-6 and 13-1 in a doubleheader last spring, the Cardinals knew it was a worthwhile prize.
"It was an exciting win for our girls and the first time we had beaten them in about five years," Luverne coach Brooks Maurer said. "We caught them at a good time, it was their first game of the season and our seventh."
Another upset may be difficult to replicate when the teams meet for a doubleheader on April 22. Maurer predicts Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota will be a tough opponent as the Flying Dutchmen (1-0, 1-0) return three all-tournament players from last season in senior infielder Jessa Nibbelink, senior pitcher Sierra Van Dyke and junior pitcher Gabby Buckridge. Van Dyke pitched a no-hitter, striking out 10, in a season-opening 11-0 victory over Adrian on April 9.
The Cardinals (3-0, 2-0) lost shortstop Gracie Bosch to graduation but return three more all-Big South players in senior pitcher Rylee Olson, senior first baseman Halle Hough and freshman catcher Billi Connell. Connell, who received all-state honorable mention last spring, has a home run through three games this season.
-- Second game to follow.