WEST FARGO â€” When Enderlin/Maple Valley coach Neva Hamre was asked about a few of her players following Friday's 25-4 win over Grafton in the Class B State Semifinals, she was at a loss for words.
"I just don't really know what to say about them," she said. "We're just â€” I don't know â€” it doesn't seem hard. We're just doing what we do."
What they do, and continued to do at the second day of the inaugural Class B State Softball Tournament, is win.
Friday's was the team's 17th straight. Number 18 could come today when the Falcons play Central Cass for the first Class B state title in history.
It will be the third time the teams have played this season, with the stakes seemingly higher with each game. The first time they played, EMV won 8-3. Then, last week, the Falcons won 17-7 in six innings in the South Regional championship.
The key, Hamre said, will be the same aggressive outlook offensively that got the Falcons into the state championship game.
In the last two games alone, EMV has outscored its opponents 43-6, largely due to stellar first innings.
Even allowing three runs in the top of the first didn't stop the Falcons from a big first inning.
Instead, the team reached its first eight batters without recording an out and finished the inning with an 8-3 lead. The Falcons then scored at least five runs in each of the next three innings.
Cassie Pautz led the Falcons with four hits. Abbie Tinjum accounted for nine runs, scoring four and finishing with five batted in.
The state championship will be played at 4 p.m. Saturday at Elmwood Park in West Fargo.
See Monday's edition of the Times-Record for full coverage of the tournament.