NEW ULM - Rock singer Meat Loaf may have had a hit with "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad," but that wouldn't be the case for New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds softball team.
For years, Cathedral head coach Bob Mertz has preached for years to his teams about the importance of first things first. Win the Tomahawk Conference first, sections second and thinking about the state championship at the end has been the annual mantra.
But with five seniors who have already had three years of the first two, it could be argued the 2014 squad of Greyhounds has been focused on the state championship since the 2013 season ended.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral senior Karlee Pfaff is one of the key players for the Greyhounds this season both offensively and from behind the plate as a catcher.
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The statistics are impressive. The 23-1 Greyhounds have won Section 2A for 10 of the last 12 years and have snuffed out the hopes of Mankato Loyola four years in a row. But their last championship was 2007 and this group gets to start the final run on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Caswell Park in North Mankato against 6A champion New York Mills.
For seniors Karlee Pfaff, Abby Hauser, Lindsay Simon, MacKinnon Ehlenz and Kristin Mohr, this is the final frontier. All have contributed in major ways, none more than Pfaff.
Besides hitting .436 with four home runs and 28 RBIs, Pfaff is the catcher and field general for a young pitching staff.
Pfaff calls all the games and with sophomores Anna Mohr and Leah Krzmarzick responsible for 130 of the 147 innings Cathedral has played so far, her touch and knowledge behind the plate has helped both pitchers combine for a 1.53 ERA.
Hauser has been the number three hitter all year and responded with five homers and 24 RBI to go along with a .400 average. Simon is right behind with four dingers and 24 RBI and a .405 average. Ehlenz has played a steady third base with a .900 fielding percentage with a .413 on base percentage, while Kristin Mohr batted .500 and also pitched 14 innings.
But no matter what happens Thursday and beyond, the Greyhounds future isn't too shabby looking. Junior Anne Schwarz led the team with a .507 average and 40 RBI to complement three round trippers. Batting leadoff and second for Cathedral were sophomores Jenessa Rothmeier and Morgan Schabert.
Rothmeier hit .488 and stole 11 of 12 bases, while Schabert coaxed 35 walks, the most on the team by a mile, while hitting .440. Then there's freshman infielder McKenna Berdan, who had a .900 fielding percentage while hitting two over the fence and contributing 18 RBI.
So it can be said the Greyhounds are looking to go through the New York Mills and find the championship not far away.