Chatfield softball heads to Class AA Championship in 3-1 win over DGF

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(ABC 6 News) — Chatfield Gophers softball has set out to prove their success has not been a fluke in its first State tournament since 2009.

After defeating Mounds Park Academy 8-4 in the Class AA First Round Thursday morning, the Rebels of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton were next. Chatfield didn’t take too long to score in the semifinal match, an RBI double by Devann Charles sent Shea Jech home to make things 1-0. Brittin Ruskell later notched in an RBI single to pad the score at 3-0 for the Gophers.

Winding down to the final moments with a now 3-1 lead, Chatfield’s situation became tense when Sydney Allen dropped a pop-up fly, allowing a DGF Rebel to advance to third with only one out made. But the Gohpers steeled themselves capturing a second out before it came down to pitcher Claire Springer versus the Rebels’ Makayla Bjelland. The latter hit straight to Springer who tossed to first for the final out.

Chatfield’s 3-1 victory ensures the Gophers will play for the Class AA Championship, a first for the Gophers softball program.

"I’m good. I’ve prepared for this all year round," Springer said postgame. "It’s just all winter long, I’ve been preparing for this game and next game, especially just thinking for the future and I feel great."

"Hard ground ball to Claire and I saw her hold it and I knew there were runners on second and third," Gophers catcher Peyton Berg recollected. "… And I think Claire just took a deep breath like [Head Coach Jerry Chase] always tells her to do and she just threw it to first. Right away I just got goosebumps, it was insane."

Chatfield softball will face Proctor for the Class AA title on Friday at 2 PM. The game will be played at Caswell Park in North Mankato.