Softball: Woodbury edges out White Bear Lake in extra innings
ST. PAUL—It ain't over, till it's over.
That's the motto this year's Woodbury Royals softball team lives by and it was shown on full display in the opening round of the 4AAAA sectional tournament against White Bear Lake.
It was a roller coaster of emotions from stress to excitement to happiness to fear and, finally, excitement again with a 12-11 victory in eight innings.
"We've faced these types of game before where we are behind early," said assistant coach Rachel Nicholas. "That's exactly what we've seen in the past. We knew it was going to be who had more mental toughness in the end."
That mental toughness was shown early in tonight's game with White Bear Lake scoring one run in the first inning and starting the second inning with a solo home run. White Bear Lake would later score three more runs and lead 5-0 after two innings.
A tough task to face for the Royals, but their mindset was that it was early. It was a good mindset to have because Woodbury would chip into the lead in the fourth inning when sophomore Hailey Neubauer connected on a three-run home run to make it a 5-3 game.
Then, the following inning there was another three-run home run to take a 6-5 lead. Senior Amanda Dickmeyer was the batter that put the ball over the fence, but didn't know it went over at first.
"I didn't think it went over the fence, but I'm glad I was able to contribute to the team and get the lead," Dickmeyer said.
Woodbury wasn't done though because in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Royals added on some insurance runs. Five to be exact.
Luckily, the Royals earned those six runs because they needed each one in the top of seventh when White Bear Lake scored six runs and tied the game at 11 a piece. It was a down point to say the least for Woodbury, but the Royals knew they had extra innings to prove themselves as the better team.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Woodbury fan section was covering their faces, while shouting out a couple of cheers here and there. After getting the third out, the Woodbury players ran from the field and got their helmets on determined to get the win in the bottom half of the inning.
The Royals had one out and the bases loaded for junior Jade Boisjoli. All she needed was a base hit or a fly ball to score in the winning run on third base. Instead, she drew a walk on four straight pitches scoring junior Grace Beseman. This punched their ticket into the next round where they will play the No. 7-seed Mounds View.
"Yes, I was very nervous with the last at-bat," Boisjoli said. "I'm just happy to see how this team battled their way through this game to earn the win."
It was almost a two and a half hour game, so the players are focused on rest tonight before school tomorrow and then the next game at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. It's a quick turnaround, but the coaches aren't worried.
Both head coach Michelle Welch and Nicholas agreed that once the team gets back on the field, that tired mentality vanishes quickly and excitement replaces it knowing it could be one of their last games of the season.
The strategy for tomorrow's game is pretty simple for Welch.
"We need to swing our bats and play strong defense," Welch said. "It's that simple as well as stick to our motto."