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New Life Academy softball: Eagles return to state title game

New Life starting pitcher Val Hohol delivers in this year's state tournament. Hohol and the Eagles beat Cherry and Eden-Valley Watkins on Thursday to advance to the Class A state championship game.

The New Life Academy softball team is back where it's used to being.

The Eagles earned a trip to the Class A state championship with a 6-4 win over Eden-Valley Watkins in the semifinals on Thursday afternoon.

New Life (18-3) scored twice in the bottom of the first to take the lead before Eden Valley tied it

up with two in the top of the fourth. New Life, ranked second in Class A, struck again in the fifth plating four runs off four hits. All six runs New Life scored in the game were unearned.

Unranked Eden Valley (15-5) rallied in the seventh scoring twice but could do more as they fell 6-4.

New Life Academy won a state-record four consecutive state championships between 2007 and 2011. Last year, the Eagles took fourth place in the state. This year New Life tied a state record with its eight straight appearance at the state softball tournament.

New Life will take on No. 7 ranked Blooming Prairie (22-3) for the Class A state championship at 1:30 on Friday at Caswell Park in North Mankato.