Upsala Softball Ready to Make a Mark in Return to State Tourney
The Upsala softball team is back in the Class A State Tournament for a 2nd straight year. The Cardinals captured the section 6A title last week with a win over Browerville-Eagle Valley 6-1 in the section final.
Upsala is unseeded in the state tournament will play top seeded Randolph in the state quarterfinals in Mankato at 1:30 Thursday afternoon. The Cardinals have co-head coaches Joey Fuchs and Nick Klug. Fuchs indicates they feel a bit disrespected by not receiving a top 5 seed after posting a 23-2 record this season. He felt they could easily have been a number 4 or 5 seed. Randolph beat Upsala in the state quarterfinals last season and Fuchs understands you have to beat everyone to win a state title so they are ready for the challenge.
Fuchs indicates going into the season the expectations were pretty high but the team did a good job managing that and focused on what they can control. The Cardinals graduated just 2 seniors from last year's team so this year's team has plenty of state tournament experience from last season. Fuchs says the team is playing with more confidence this season and it is evident in watching them on the field.
Fuchs says a big part of their success revolves around the pitcher/catcher combination which includes primary pitcher Isabelle Leners and her cousin, the primary catcher Molly Leners. Molly has hit just under .500 this season which includes 27 doubles. Fuchs also highlighted shortstop 3-year starter Hannah Luedtke for her leadership in the infield. Upsala will play a bit shorthanded in the state tournament because of a broken hand for centerfielder Hailie Luedtke. Coach Fuchs indicates she is going to try and play in the field but won't be able to bat.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with co-head coach Joey Fuchs it is available below.
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