The St. Bede softball team is taking a familiar path.
This time, the Bruins hope it takes a different turn.
A year ago, the Bruins beat Ridgewood in an epic, nine-inning 4-3 sectional semifinal victory before falling to Biggsville West Central (2-1) in the sectional finals.
This week, St. Bede has defeated Ridgewood once again in the sectional semifinals, posting a 6-1 victory on Tuesday.
Awaiting in their path is the very same West Central Heat. Game time is 5 p.m. Friday from Abbot Phillip Davey Field on the campus of St. Bede Academy.
“It’s going to be great. Hopefully we can get some revenge. We’ve been looking forward for this game all year,” St. Bede junior pitcher/third baseman Reagan Stoudt said.
The difference this time, the Bruins will get to play in front of a large, boisterous home crowd. Tuesday’s semifinal, the first sectional game ever played at St. Bede, drew more than 400 fans, largely decked out in Bruin green and cheering loudly.
“The girls are pumped for sure,” St. Bede coach Shawn Sons said. “Home field will be huge, especially if we get the numbers we had on Tuesday. The atmosphere was electric and the girls really fed off of that energy.”
Friday’s winner advances to the Sterling Supersectional to face the Forreston Sectional champion at 11 a.m., Monday. Orangeville (29-2) and South Beloit (13-10) vie for the sectional crown at Forreston.
St. Bede has won four sectional championships in school history. The Bruins went on to State twice, placing fourth in 2013 and third in 2019.
St. Bede Sectional championships
2006 (A) - St. Bede 6, Plano 3
2013 (2A) - St. Bede 1, Stillman Valley 0 (10 inn.)
2018 (2A) - St. Bede 3, Mendota 2
2019 (1A) - St. Bede 7, Marquette 1