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Team Chemistry Key for State-Bound Hortonville

The Polar Bears make the program's sixth trip to Madison for the state tourney, their first since 2005.

An assistant at hortonville since 2000, Bob Pethke was handed the reins to the team this season and it's proven to be just what the doctor ordered.

"I was nervous at first getting new coaches my senior year, but they're really great coaches and its been a great season so far," Caitlin Hoerning said.

Of course pethke gives all the credit to his players... citing team chemistry as the key to success.

"Once we're on the field, we just know one team and one dream and that's what we've stuck too," explained Katie Uhlenbrauck.

This marks the polar bears first trip to state since 2005, so it will be a brand new experience for every player on the roster. Coach Pethke's main concern is making sure the girls don't get overwhelmed when they get to Madison.

"Can't make any game bigger than like persay we're playing against our conference competition and that way we stay level, don't get too high or too low," Pethke said.

Hortonville will face Verona in the quarterfinals Thursday. The wildcats are lead by Norther Illinois-bound Emma Ray, who's logged 20 wins on the mound this season....But for pethke's 6 seniors, it's now or never.

"There is no next time so for our seniors this is our last chance to win state so we're really excited about that," Hoerning said.

"It's do or die. If we lose we're done and I think we've had that aggressiveness to it to just keep playing and play our hearts out," explained Uhlenbrauck.

The polar bears have won two state titles (1996, 2000), but none since moving into Division I. Accomplishing the feat will take three more wins.

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