Gator Softball finishes as state runner-up

Gator shortstop Kinsley Hanson fields the ball during the second inning of the Gator Softball team’s 4-1 loss in the Class A state championship game versus the Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian Flying Dutchmen on June 7 at Caswell Park in North Mankato. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Gator pitcher Mariah Christian prepares to release a pitch during the second inning of the Gators’ 4-1 loss to the Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian Flying Dutchmen in the Class A state championship game on June 7 at Caswell Park in North Mankato. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Gator third base player Lauren Kvien catches the ball from her centerfield teammate Makenna Burslie and prepares to tag out the runner, as teammate Mariah Christian (#34) looks on, during the bottom of the fifth inning of the Gators’ 4-1 loss to the Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian Flying Dutchmen in the Class A state championship game on June 7 at Caswell Park in North Mankato. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Erika Howell prepares to make contact for a leadoff single in the top of the seventh inning of the Gator Softball team’s 4-1 loss in the Class A state championship game versus the Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian Flying Dutchmen on June 7 at Caswell Park in North Mankato. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

The Gator Softball team holds its state runner-up trophy together following its 4-1 loss to the Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian Flying Dutchmen in the Class A state championship game. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Gator Softball senior Makenna Burslie shares an emotional hug with her mom Brandy, as she holds on to the state runner-up trophy, following the Gator team’s loss in the state championship game— Burslie’s final game in a Gator uniform. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Gator Softball players Ella Heggedal, Lauren Kvien, and Mariah Christian earned Class A All-Tournament team honors, recognizing them for their performances at this year’s state tournament. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

The Gator Softball team poses for a team photo with its Class A state runner-up trophy. Team members are (L-R): Front: Manager Brandon Brazier, Manager Conner Wojchowski, Jordan Lee, Measha Troxel, Mariah Christian, Emma Heggedal, Makenna Burslie, Lauren Kvien, Lauren Stenberg, Ella Koebernick, Kinsley Hanson, Ada Lee, and Sierra Westberg; Back: Berlyn Burkel, Coach Meghan Kvien, Coach Dave Blazek, Ava Novacek, Isabella Monsrud, Elizabeth Gust, Jacey Wojchowski, Cassidy Dahl, Tessany Blazek, Theron Kuznia, Ella Heggedal, Erika Howell, Asher Burslie, Manager Ashley Benke, and Coach Kent Christian. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

The Gator Softball team advanced to its third state title game in program history after securing two victories at the Minnesota State High School League Softball Tournament on June 6. Falling short of the state title the two previous times, the Gators’ third try at a state title would also come up short in a 4-1 loss to the Egerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian Flying Dutchmen on June 7 from Caswell Park in North Mankato.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Gators allowed the Dutchmen to break the scoreless tie with a run. The Gators then gave up three more runs in the fifth to trail 4-0. Trailing by this same score going into the seventh inning, the Gators rallied with a Lauren Kvien RBI single to draw within 4-1 and had the tying run at the plate. The team couldn’t push any more runs across to fall by the final margin.

Gator players Ella Heggedal, Lauren Kvien, and Mariah Christian earned Class A All-Tournament Team honors.

With the loss, the Gators finished as the Class A state runner-up and with a 23-5 record. This year’s Gator team loses one senior to graduation in centerfielder Makenna Burslie.

For complete Gator Softball state tournament coverage, read The Tribune in print or online.

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