Prescott High School Softball teams have been at the WIAA State Tournament three previous times in program history: 1993, 1998 and 2002.
But the Cardinals have yet to win a game at state. PHS hopes its fourth trip to state will be different as they take Tomahawk in the Division 3 state semifinals Friday morning at 10 a.m. at Goodman Diamond in Madison.
This year's Cardinal squad certainly has the credentials to get that first win. Prescott is ranked No. 6 in the state in Division 3, they boast 22-3 overall record, a collective team batting average near .400, eight players batting over.400, two experienced pitchers on the roster including senior Kaili Wescott with an ERA of 1.39. And they are facing a Tomahawk squad which doesn't have a lot of state tournament experience either given this is the Hatchets' first trip to state since 1983.
Indeed, the only team in the D-3 field with such experience is No. 1 Poynette. This is the Pumas' tenth trip to state with three state titles and four runner-up trophies from those bids. They will be facing a Westfield team that while unbeaten at 18-0 is making its very first trip to state. Poynette has won 22 straight games, their only loss came in the season-opener to Stevens Point, one of the top-ranked teams in Division 1 all season.
Tomahawk is also entering to the state tourney with some momentum. The Hatchets started their season 0-5 but have won 13 out of their last 15 games. Like Prescott, they are a small school playing in a competitive large-school league of their own (Great Northern) finishing second to a Mosinee squad who is also in the state tournament as well in Division 2.
Senior right-handed batter and infielder Courtney Theiler is Tomahawk's top batter with 36 hits, seven doubles, a team-leading seven doubles, three triples and a home run. She also leads the team in runs with 25 and RBIs with 28. Junior catcher Katy Volz has 24 hits in 58 at bats with three doubles. Both are hitting over .400.
Tomahawk's top pitcher is senior Rachel Dallman. She has a 2.06 ERA with 142 strikeouts. She's also strong at the plate with 21 hits, including four triples.
Prescott will counter with Wescott's 18-1 overall record this season which includes 94 strikeouts and a batting line which includes fellow state all-star Katelyn Miller's .508 batting average of 32 hits, 11 doubles, 14 RBIs, two triples and two home runs. Freshman Sydney Matzek has 31 hits this season with 25 RBIs, five doubles and .484 average. Also notching 20 or more RBIs were Mackenzie Carey with 26, Haley Miner 22, Isabella Lenz 23, with Wescott and Shelby Murphy each having 18 runs batted in. Lenz leads the team in homers with three and Carey has 10 doubles to her credit. Miller leads the team with 29 runs followed by Lenz with 27 and Carey 24, Kaelyn Lewis 23 and Miner 21. Nine Prescott players had 20 or more hits led by Carey's 38, Hope Miner's 31 and Haley Miner's 29.
The Poynette-Westfield game will follow Prescott's contest Friday morning with the championship game Saturday at 1 p.m. weather permitting.
The state tournament games will be broadcast on KDWA AM 1460/FM 97.7 out of Hastings.