Park of Cottage Grove pitcher Samantha Fohrman throwing against Centennial. Photo: JEFF WHEELER • firstname.lastname@example.org
Park of Cottage Grove, making its third consecutive state tournament appearance, defeated first-time entrant Centennial 10-0 in the Class 4A semifinals on Thursday.
The six-inning victory, after disappointing quarterfinal losses the last two seasons, sets up the Wolfpack's first championship game appearance in 16 years.
“They knew that they wanted this. They fought and grinded all year — through those 18 inches of snow in April and all the practices and the six games a week,” Park of Cottage Grove coach Bob Loshek said. “This team is on a special mission.”
After scoring single runs in each of the first three innings, the Wolfpack (25-1) broke open the game with a two-RBI double from senior Riley Perryman.
“Our bats were on fire and our defense was stellar,” said Perryman, who was 2-for-3 at the plate.
Park of Cottage Grove continued to rally against the Cougars (21-5). Wolfpack pitcher Bryanna Olson struck out seven batters in the first four innings.
“Our bats didn’t come alive today,” Centennial coach Amanda Daeger said. “We haven’t had a lot of losses this year so you just have to take them when they come.”
Park of Cottage Grove hopes to stay course Friday and extend its 17-game winning streak by one more.
“Upsets happen all the time and we know — any second, any day — people can come out and play their best game against us,’’ Perryman said. “So we just have to keep humble and play our best game.’’