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Regional repeat

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.

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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 / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

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.

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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.

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