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So much for first-time jitters as Seymour advances to state title game

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Seymour beat Ellsworth 4-2 in a Division 2 state semifinal Friday at Goodman Softball Complex. (WLUK)

MADISON (WLUK) -- Making its first appearance at the state softball tournament Friday nobody would blame Seymour if it felt the nerves.

It might have a for a little while but by mid-game the Thunder looked right at home and that was unfortunate for Ellsworth.

Seymour scored three runs in the third inning, using its bats and smarts on the bases and beat the Panthers 4-2 to advance to Saturday's state title game at Goodman Softball Complex.

"This is really great, it's really exciting to be here," said catcher Chloe Evans, who was 2 for 4 with one RBI and run scored. "The nerves were there and towards the end of the game we really pulled together as a team, got some clutch hits as a team and it was a real good experience."

"It's really huge, it's super exciting," said pitcher Paige Weyer, who had nine strikeouts. "We're going to try to enjoy this but get onto the next game and we're going to be focused on that game."

Game stats

Seymour didn't do much through two innings but then the No. 2-seeded Thunder (25-1) got going. Seymour had three hits in the third inning and used some great base running, taking extra bases when No. 3 Ellsworth (24-3) was not paying attention, and took a 3-0 lead.

"It's such a wonderful feeling when you can get a 'crooked' number up on the board because the girls feel a little bit more relaxed and a little bit more into themselves," coach Karri Vanden Langenberg said. "Being aggressive on the basepaths is something we've been doing all season long and we're going to continue to do that. We did that in the game and I think it just helps boost that momentum."

Vanden Langenberg had confidence her team could succeed in its biggest game of the season to-date because of its mentality.

"With this group it's a cliche, never say die, but this group means it," she said. "They really work hard. It doesn't matter if we have one out, two outs, They just want to keep going,

"Momentum keeps them going and if one girl can get on, the next girl can get on and you carry that feeling to the next at-bat."

Seymour will play No.1 Monroe in the state title game and getting the first win in program history at state has the Thunder feeling good.

"I just know if we attack early, earlier than this game and we start scoring runs we'll be just fine," she said. "I think we can pull out a win if we stay loud and get into the pitcher's head, that's what we really try to do.

"We're loud and we yell constantly. Our dugout's big for that, even on defense."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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