The Chanhassen Storm is headed to its second consecutive softball state tournament after a perfect run through the Class 4A, Section 2 playoffs. It was capped by a 6-3 victory over host Eden Prairie on Thursday.
Junior Taylor Manno scored the Storm’s first run on a passed ball. While Manno was sliding into home, Tori Tellefson made it from first base to third base and then scored on an infield single.
Chanhassen took control of the game when Marybeth Olson hit a two-run homer in the third inning. It gave the Storm a 4-0 lead.
Eden Prairie’s Lauren Oberle hit a three-run blast in the top of the fifth inning, pulling the Eagles within one run.
In the bottom of the fifth, Jessica Bren hit a two-run homer for Chanhassen.
The Storm has eight returning starters from last year’s state tournament team. It is looking to avenge its first-round exit.
“Last year, it was all about the experience,” coach Joe Coenen said. “We were just happy to be there. This year, their expectation is a little higher. They’re going in believing they can win the whole thing.”
In other softball section championships:
Forest Lake 1, Anoka 0: After losing to Anoka 12-0 earlier in the day, Forest Lake shut out the Tornadoes in Game 2 to take the Class 4A, Section 7 championship.
Senior Maddie Romines’ solo home run in the fourth inning was the game’s only run.
Sophomore Megan Baniecke of Forest Lake allowed only two hits.
Anoka finished second in the state tournament last year.Forest Lake advances to the state tournament for the first time since 2013.
Park of Cottage Grove 5, Eagan 2: Gwen Warling went 3-for-3 to lead the Wolfpack’s 13-hit attack in the Class 4A, Section 3 title game. The senior had a pair of doubles and one RBI and scored twice.
Hanna Mortenson gave up one hit over the last five innings while pitching a complete game. The junior also had two run-scoring hits.
Park of Cottage Grove (22-2) was ranked No. 1 in its class in the last coaches’ poll taken before the playoffs began. The Wolfpack’s most recent trip to the state tournament was in 2004.
Hopkins 7, Armstrong 6: Natalie DenHartog went 4-for-4 to lead the Royals in the Class 4A, Section 6 final. The sophomore scored four times and had a double and an RBI.
Hannah Kleist went 2-for-3 for Hopkins and scored twice.
This will be the first trip to the state tournament for the Royals since 2011.