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Pipestone softball program always aims high

The Pipestone Area girls softball team is once again eyeing a state tournament berth in 2022. And on paper, the Arrows have what it takes to do it again.

Pipestone Area Arrows
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PIPESTONE -- Veteran Pipestone Area girls fast-pitch softball coach Troy Bouman, when asked what his goals are for the Arrows in 2022, said the team hopes to make the state tournament.

Of course they do. A Pipestone Area softball team in the state tournament is like the sun coming up in the morning. It’s natural.

But to Bouman, getting a state tourney berth is no more natural to the Arrows than it is to every other high school team prior to the start of a new spring campaign.

“When you go into the season, everybody wants to get there,” Bouman said.

The facts, however, say there’s only one team from each section that gets to go. And in that case, don’t bet against the Arrows.

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Softball stock art. (Alex Haney / Unsplash)

There are two teams in southwest Minnesota who, odds say, it might be foolish to bet against. One is, of course, Pipestone Area in Class AA, which has qualified for the state tournament in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. The other is Edgerton/Southwest Christian in Class A, which played in its seventh straight state tournament in 2021 (there was no state tourney in 2020 due to Covid).

The Arrows, who won the championship in 2007, placed fourth in the state in 2021, and judging by what they’ve got returning this spring, they might be hard to beat once again.

“We were very young last year. We were a bunch of sophomores last year,” said Bouman.

Although they lost three starting seniors to graduation, the 2022 unit returns its entire infield and then some. Returnees include all-state first baseman Kayla Hubbling, second-baseman Marli Taubert, shortstop Kyla Hubbling, third baseman Madelyn Wiese, catcher Melody Remund, pitcher Toryn Woelber and outfielder Brynn Manzey. Other players who may play important roles are Teagen Tuinstra and Aubrey Kor.

Woelber’s pitching will be key to the Arrows’ success.

“It’s her time to kind of shine now,” said Bouman, who notes that Woelber had already been an important factor last season as a sophomore. She throws a change-up, rise ball and drop.

Kyla Hubbling and freshman Maria Moeller might also see action in the pitcher’s circle.

Meanwhile, it’s anybody’s guess who might challenge Edgerton/Southwest Christian in Section 3A. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg posted a 20-6 record in 2021 but lost twice to E/SWC in the section tournament, including 11-4 in the championship game. Lac qui Parle Valley is coming off a 20-5 season.

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The E/SWC Flying Dutchmen finished 21-4 last year with a third-place finish in the state tourney.

Pitcher Addison Fleischman, who hit a game-winning two-run single in the third place game against Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, has been lost to graduation. But if state tournament championships go in cycles, the Dutchmen -- who won state titles in 2016 and 2019 -- might be due another in 2022.

Related Topics: SOFTBALL
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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