Last year, Beulah made it to its first state softball tournament as a program. This year, it’s back to back, but it’s a familiar opponent that will stand in the Miners’ way from going farther than they’ve ever before in school history.

After a 2-0 lead for most of the game, Beulah found a way to break it open against one of the top offenses in the state in Velva, winning a regional title for a group that has made it about the team this season.

“Everybody buys in,” says head coach Kyle Christensen. “Everybody accepts their role and I think there’s a lot of good friendships on this team and they just battle together. There’s nobody that’s selfish. There’s nobody that thinks they’re the straw that stirs the drink.”

The Miners face a familiar opponent in the quarterfinals, Thompson, a team they lost to in the opening round at their first state tournament.

“I think they scored six runs in one inning and only squared it up on one ball,” says Kyle Christensen. “But that’s a good enough team, and then after losing that, to have the next two games, tight ball games at a state tournament, to take home fifth place was big. Should be a huge confidence booster for these girls and that experience.”

Coach Christensen believes it’s the little things that can make this team go, and his daughter Taylor feels the same way.

“Mainly our defense,” says Taylor Christensen. “We’re just making big plays all the time. Me and Addie are both really good pitchers. I try to work them with my rise ball a lot. I get a lot of swings and misses with that and then come back with my change. It really locks people up.”

Taylor on the mound, and sister Cassie with the key hits, the ride has been fun for the Christensens, a name making a mark on this program.

“I’ve been coaching Taylor since she was seven or eight, travel ball and everything else,” says Kyle Christensen. “But it’s also fun to have Cassie coming along. Cassie actually didn’t want to play softball. She played a little bit of baseball and didn’t really start playing softball til a couple of years ago. But it’s awesome to have a great relationship on and off the field and it makes it extra special.”

Just being there isn’t enough for Beulah, the Miners know now that the stage isn’t too big this time around.

“I want to win it all,” says Taylor Christensen. “I mean, we lost the first round last year and I’d like to make it past the first round and try to get in the championship.”

“Just making plays on defense,” says Kyle Christensen. “I don’t think we made an error in that game which was huge. So if we play clean defense and our pitchers throw well enough, they’ll keep us in the game and of course timely hitting and, you know, the name of the game.”

Class B State Softball Quarterfinals: (Starting Thursday)
#2 Kindred-Richland vs Velva-Drake/Anamoose – 11 AM
#3 Beulah vs Thompson – 1 PM
#1 Central Cass vs Des-Lacs Burlington/Lewis & Clark – 4 PM
#4 May-Port-C-G vs #5 Renville County – 6 PM