FREEDOM, Wis. (WFRV) – It has been 35 years since the Freedom softball program played in the state tournament. Gas was 90¢, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, and the world population just reached over 5 billion.
Things have vastly changed over the years, including the luck of the Irish. After a gritty 1-0 win over Winneconne in the Division II Quarterfinals, Freedom softball has a date in the semifinals at the WIAA State Softball Tournament against New London.
On Thursday, the school and community held a send-off ceremony for the girls to wish them good luck.
“It still feels unreal. I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet. We’re really excited,” said senior Lizzy Wesoloski, as students started chanting her name in the background. “I’ve waited for this all week and it’s amazing.”
The road to the state tournament is never easy. Heading into the tournament as the 5th seed, Freedom took on Seymour High School, where they were able to grind out a low-scoring 2-0 victory.
The offense got rolling in the second round against Luxemburg-Casco, where the Irish were able to knock off the Spartans 10-1.
In the third round against Winneconne, the Irish got some sweet revenge. After falling to the Wolves 6-5 in a previous matchup, Freedom was able to survive 1-0 to head to the state tournament.
Freedom and New London’s matchup pits two talented teams against each other. Both are from northeast Wisconsin, and both are looking to punch their ticket to the state finals.
I think it’s cool. Two local teams are playing each other in Madison. I think that’s awesome. I hope the stands are filled. That’s what it’s all about,” added Wesoloski.
Freedom and New London are joined by Jefferson High School, which was given the 7th seed in the tournament, and Wisconsin Lutheran, which was given the 6th seed in the tournament.
All four teams in the final four are close in talent and skill. After all the four teams are the 5th-8th seeds in the WIAA State Tournament.
Both semifinal games will take place on Friday, June 10 with a trip to the championship game on the line.
The buzz around Freedom is high, being the favorite to win the tournament. When asked about their chances at the tournament, Wesoloski gave Local 5 News one short statement.