NORTH MANKATO, Minn. -- The third time was not the charm for the Badger-Greenbush-Middle River softball team.
The Gators came up short here Friday in their bid for the program’s first Minnesota state high school softball title. Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian handed the Gators a 4-1 loss in the Class A state championship game.
It marked the third time the B-G-MR program had played in the state championship. Badger-G-MR also finished second in the 2015 and 2016 state tournaments.
“There are probably a lot of teams that would take where we’re at,’’ B-G-MR coach Kent Christian said. “We’ll take it.
“I don’t know that you anticipate going to state at the beginning of the year. I knew we had a chance. And once you get here, you need some breaks. We got them -- or made them -- the first two games here. But we didn’t create enough opportunities in the final.’’
Edgerton/SMC broke a scoreless tie when back-to-back doubles by Jazzy Prins and Gabby Buckridge produced a run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Flying Dutchmen added three more runs in the fifth, with Prins driving home two runs and Jessa Nibbelink one in the inning with singles.
“That was the tough inning, knowing we only had six outs left and needed at least four runs,’’ Christian said. “It takes a little wind out of your sails. We did give them a battle in the last inning.’’
The Gators scored their lone run in the seventh.
Erika Howell led off with a single and advanced to second on a ground out. Jacey Wojchowski followed with a single and Lauren Kvien drove home Howell with a single.
Wojchowski and Kvien each had two hits for the Gators, who finished the season with a 23-5 record.
“Their pitcher (Sierra Van Dyke) was good at changing speeds and keeping us off balance,’’ Christian said. “And they played pretty much error-free softball.’’
The Gators, seeded fifth in the tournament, pulled off two upsets to reach the championship, beating No. 4 Waterville-E-M 4-2 in the quarterfinals and No. 1 New York Mills 8-4 in the semifinals.
Prowlers finish fourth
Thief River Falls finished fourth in the Class AA state fastpitch tournament.
In the third-place game, Pipestone beat the Prowlers 4-3.
Pipestone broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. The Prowlers got two back in the bottom of the fifth, but could get no closer.
Gabby Steele was 4-for-4 and Alexis Huot was 2-for-3 to lead the 24-5 Prowlers.