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Regional repeat

Northwestern’s Cassidy Friend makes a throw to first as Kennedy Nelson (22) looks on during a game in Brule earlier this season. Friend had a solo home run and was the winning pitcher in the Tigers’ 12-0 victory over St. Croix Falls Thursday. (Jed Carlson / 1 / 9
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The Northwestern High School softball team claimed a regional title for the second straight year Thursday with a 12-0 victory over St. Croix Falls in Brule.

The Tigers now advance to the WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinals and will host Cameron at 5 p.m. today. The Comets earned an 5-0 upset victory over Spooner to advance.

During the regular season, Northwestern defeated Cameron 11-6, but Tiger head coach Scott Janigo said his team will not be taking the Comets lightly.

“We beat Cameron relatively close, so nothing’s going to be a push-over. We’ve got some good teams coming in,” Janigo said.

Senior Cassidy Friend played a lead role in Northwestern’s victory Thursday. She led off the game with a solo home run and held St. Croix Falls to four hits in five innings pitched.

Fellow senior Macey Schultz finished off the game in the sixth inning by retiring the first three batters she faced.

Other offensive highlights for the Tigers included Rose Tokar’s two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Brooke Ogren’s two-run single in the bottom of the fourth.

The Tigers have hit a pair of home runs in both of their playoff games so far.

“We get one or two a game by somebody,” Janigo said. “We’re in that one- or two-a-game range.”

The winner of today’s semifinal game will face either Bloomer or Altoona in the sectional finals at 5 p.m. Thursday in Bloomer.