Green Knights flip script on way to NCAAs

The St. Norbert softball team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Midwest Conference Tournament Saturday. (WLUK image)

DE PERE - Sometimes, all a team needs is a little inspiration.

"Coming in here, we just had something to prove," Green Knights first baseman Leigh Grall said. "We weren't seventh, we were first and wanted to show everyone here. Especially the fans and players that came before us."

After finishing 6-30 last season, the St. Norbert softball team was supposed to scrape the bottom of the Midwest Conference.

Instead, they're celebrating a MWC title and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in five years.

"Coming back from last year, we won six games, not a lot was expected from us, we came back and shut them all up," Green Knights outfielder Amy McBride said.

"I'm in shock and awe right now," Green Knights third baseman Tia Danforth said. "It's amazing to have done this with the team and to be a part of "Norby ball" and represent St. Norbert."

A big part of St. Norbert's bounce back campaign was the youthful turnover of the roster. It's also a local one, with more than half of the team having played their high school careers in Northeast Wisconsin.

"You can tell with some of the conferences right now, they all have a shot to go to state and if I can get one or two players from the area, we're going to be here every year," Green Knights coach JoAnn Krueger.

In a season of proving doubters wrong, St. Norbert hopes they've got a few more weeks of the right stuff.

"It's a great opportunity, thankful to everyone who got us here and I'm just excited to go out like this," McBride said.

"Let's just play together, have the energy and enthusiasm and anything can happen in this game," Krueger said.

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