It has been a winding and often dramatic road, but the Pierz softball team once again finds itself in the Section 6AA Championship match.
It is the second year in a row that Pierz has made it this far, following a similar path a year ago, only to lose in game one of the championship to Pequot Lakes.
After a 1-1 start to the double elimination tournament, Pierz began working its way through the loser’s bracket, May 25.
The Pioneers began the day with an 11-0 shutout of Melrose in five innings.
Junior hurler Brittney Boser struck out 10 and scattered three hits enroute to the win. She also led the offense with a pair of hits, a run and an RBI.
Sophomore Jade Porter added two RBIs from the leadoff spot.
Shortly after that game, that same night, the Pioneers had to face nemesis Cathedral, who gave them their only loss of the tournament a few days prior.
Both teams became deadlocked in a back-and-forth battle that eventually went on to extra innings with a 1-1 tie.
In the top of the ninth inning, sophomore Terri Tretter hit a seeing-eye single to drive in two runs and put Pierz up.
Boser shut down Cathedral in the bottom of the inning, finishing with eight strikeouts on five hits and two walks.
Ella Kalusche drove in the other Pioneer run earlier in the game.
The victory moved the Pioneers on to 17-4 Osakis in the next elimination contest at 5 p.m., Tuesday.
Pierz had a strong day at the plate and from Boser on the mound in a quick 7-0 win over the Silver Streaks.
Porter was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and sophomore Emily Daiker added two RBIs as well.
The final victory came in the form of a 5-1 win over No. 5 Perham, who had upset its way into the semifinal.
Boser allowed one unearned run in the seventh inning, but struck out eight to earn the Pioneers a date with Albany in the section finale.
Meyer went 3-for-4 and scored a run. Boser drove in three runs and scored twice herself at the plate.
Pierz’ title game against the Albany Huskies was on Thursday, but results were unavailable by press time.
The Pioneers needed to beat the Huskies twice to advance to the Class AA state meet in Mankato, which is on Thursday and Friday.