Empire State Bound: MN North-Itasca Softball Ready for 1st National Tourney in 5 Years

The Vikings will find out their opponent on Sunday when the bracket is revealed.

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.- The Minnesota North-Itasca softball team is gearing up for their first NJCAA Division III softball World Series appearance since 2018.

The Vikings made that possible over the weekend when they defeated Central Lakes College twice to claim the Region 13B NJCAA championship.

It’s the 10th time in school history that Itasca has made it to the national tournament and it’s the fourth appearance under current head coach Kyle Erickson.

It wasn’t always easy for the Vikings this season, they lost three starters at the break. On top of that, they faced a tough schedule and were just 3-17 at one point in the season.

Erickson says it wasn’t until they hit their conference schedule where things started to click.

“I think we realized at the end. Hey we can perform, we can do this. We had a great regional tournament, Taylor Shepard had a heck of a tournament, regional MVP. We have a team full of grit. We grind out at bats and we’re looking forward to carrying that momentum and attitude to the national tournament,” said Erickson.

For the players they are confident and think the best is yet to come on the national stage.

“I think as a pitcher, hit your spots, trust your defense. We’re going to have figure out the strike zone offense wise. I feel like if we play our best, like Kyle said, our best all season. I definitely think we can make it far,” said pitcher Taylor Shepard.

The Vikings will find out their opponent on Sunday when the bracket is revealed.

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