The Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinal softball team defeated two Gopher Conference opponents Thursday  to advance to the final four of the Section 1A Tournament at Todd Park in Austin.  The Cardinals downed Blooming Prairie 3-1 before avenging an earlier loss in the tournament to Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 8-4.  The Buccaneers lost in the West Subsection winner's bracket game against top seed Hayfield 8-0.

Tuesday Waterville-Elysian-Morristown defeated Bethlehem Academy in Waterville 5-3.  The Cardinals were coming off their win over the Awesome Blossoms while the Buccaneers had just lost to Hayfield.  The Vikings are the West Subsection Champions and the three time defending Section Champions and will play East Subsection Champion Goodhue in the winner's bracket of the Section Tournament Tuesday at Todd Park in Austin.  The first pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. The winner of that game would have to be beaten twice to not go to state.

Goodhue was the #2 seed in the East and rolled past the state ranked Falcons 10-0 in Preston to win the East Subsection.

The Bethlehem Academy Cardinals play state ranked Wabasha-Kellogg Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.  If they win they play again at 7:00 p.m. against the loser of the Goodhue vs Hayfield game.

There will be a new state champion in Class 2A softball this season.  The two time defending champion Zumbrota-Mazeppa Cougars were defeated by Byron for the second time this week and the loss ends their season.  The score was 1-0 in Pine Island in the elimination bracket of the West Subsection of Section 1AA.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa downed Pine Island 8-0 while Byron lost the West Subsection title game to Rochester Lourdes 7-0.  Then the Bears sent the Cougars into hibernation with the 1-0 win.

In the East Subsection Winona Cotter won the Subsection title game over top seed Chatfield 3-1 in St. Charles.

In the Section Tournament Tuesday Cotter and Rochester Lourdes tangle for the right to sit and wait for loser's bracket action to end and have to be beaten twice not to go to state.  The game will be 5:00 p.m. at Todd Park in Austin.

Chatfield and Byron will play an elimination game and the loser of the Cotter vs Rochester Lourdes contest will play the winner of that game at 7:00 p.m.

The winner returns Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

In Section 1 Class 3A the top two seeds, Winona and Northfield are playing in the winner's bracket game at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday at Todd Park in Austin.  Northfield defeated Austin 8-5 and Winona blanked Red Wing 5-0 to advance to the title contest.

In the elimination bracket Austin then beat Kasson-Mantorville 11-5 and Red Wing got by Albert Lea 5-3.   That means Austin and Red Wing will play at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday and that winner will play the loser of the winner's bracket game between Winona and Northfield at 6:00 p.m.

The winner of the Northfield against Winona game would have to be defeated twice Thursday not to go to state.

In Section 1 Class 4A there was an upset of the top seed New Prague Trojans by the #4 seed Lakeville North Panthers at Todd Park in Austin Thursday.  It was a thrilling 2-1 game.  In the other winner's bracket contest defending State 4A Champion Farmington beat Rochester John Marshall 1-0.

In the elimination bracket the Owatonna Huskies got hot downing Lakeville South 7-6, beating Rochester John Marshall 8-1 to get to the final four.

In the other elimination bracket games Rochester Mayo defeated Rochester Century 6-and #5 Class 4A ranked New Prague bested Rochester Mayo 10-0.

At 4:00 p.m. Tuesday Owatonna plays New Prague and the winner will tangle with the loser of the winner's bracket contest between Lakeville North and Farmington.

The winner of the Farmington versus Lakeville North game waits for the other teams to play and advances to the championship game at 5:00 p.m. Thursday.

Northfield Softball Field-photo by Gordy Kosfeld