Several area softball teams advanced to state, with Sun Prairie, Monroe, Poynette, Horicon, and Belmont all advancing to the WIAA State Championships in softball held June 6-8 in Madison at Goodman Diamond.
In Division 1, defending champion Sun Prairie blasted top-seeded Verona 10-3. The Wildcats had defeated Sun Prairie twice in the regular season, 2-1 and 2-0. In another D1 game, Wilmot Union took down Beloit Memorial 5-3.
Division 2 saw Monroe advance over McFarland 4-3 behind a one-hitter from starting pitcher Olivia Bobak. You can read more on this game below.
In Division 3, defending champion Poynette bested Dodgeville 3-2 to advance back to Madison.
Division 4's defending champion Horicon got past Wisconsin Heights 7-1 in the sectional final.
Finally, in Division 5, in a game called due to rain, Belmont won 1-0 over Oakfield. The game was called in the sixth with Oakfield batting and the bases loaded, trailing 3-2, but WIAA rules revert to the last completed inning in a situation where a game cannot be completed due to field conditions. Elsewhere, Blair-Taylor defeated Highland 5-1.
Monroe advances to state for first time in five years, defeats McFarland 4-3 to win WIAA Sectional
For the first time in five years, the Monroe Cheesemakers' softball program is heading back to state.
On a perfect afternoon for softball in Evansville, Monroe rallied (and hung on) to a one-run victory over McFarland, 4-3.
Three scoreless innings marked the beginning of a pitcher's duel, as McFarland's Megan Jansen went toe-to-toe with Monroe's Olivia Bobak. Jansen struck out five through three innings, while Bobak punched out six in the same timeframe.
In the top of the fourth, the top of the order for McFarland reached base on a hit batter and a walk. After a strikeout and a sacrifice to move the runners into scoring position, a slicing line drive by Morgan Butler caught Monroe's outfielder on the wrist as she played it into the sun, which allowed two runners to score. A hit batter got another Spartan on base, but Bobak got Lizzy Fortune to ground out to second to end the inning and McFarland holding a 2-0 lead.
Monroe responded in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bobak led off with a double, and after two outs were recorded, Sloan Ambrose was hit by a pitch to put two on for the Cheesemakers. Lizzie Snider smashed a single to bring home Bobak to make the score 2-1, and also moved Ambrose over to third. Sarah Prien then hit a clutch liner deep into the outfield to score Ambrose and Snider to take the lead at 3-2, which was the score at the end of four complete.
Bobak made quick work of the Spartans in the top of the fifth. In the bottom half, Sydney Updike hit a one-out single and stole a base, leaving a spot open for Bobak to walk aboard. Grace Tostrude grounded out, but Updike scored on the fielder's choice to make it 4-2 Monroe.
The insurance run would end up very important, as after a scoreless sixth, it came down to the top of the seventh for McFarland. The leadoff batter, Butler, hit a home run to near-dead center field to make it a one run game. The homer also broke up Bobak's no-hit bid. After notching strikeouts number 10 and 11, a ground ball ended the game, and the Cheesemakers were off to state for the first time since 2013, when they beat McFarland in a sectional final at Evansville to advance to Madison.
Monroe: 0-0-0-3-1-0-X=4 4|7|1
McFarland: 0-0-0-2-0-0-1=3 3|1|0
WP: Olivia Bobak (CG, 1H, 11K)
HR: Morgan Butler (McFarland), T7 (1R 0O)
FP: 5:05 p.m. (TOG: 1:29)
WX: 77^ (Winds W 4mph/out to right), Mostly Sunny
at Evansville High School
Monroe: 22-4, McFarland: 16-12