FAIRBANKS-The upstart North Pole Patriots will take their number one seed into the small schools softball state tournament. The Patriots only had one loss in conference play as they ran through the Mid Alaska Conference.
North Pole plays Ketchikan, the South Eastern two seed, on Friday at 1 p.m. The winner gets Northern Lights Champion Kodiak at 3:30.
A number of Patriots will be on the big stage for the first time. The team is mostly comprised of freshmen and sophomores but the juniors and seniors will also make their debuts at state. They feel that once they overcome early nerves they can shake up the brackets.
"I feel like since we have a young team we have like, just new skill coming up and I think that we have a lot of good batting. We can really-we can really nail em'," junior shortstop Paige Chmura said.
Senior pitcher Robyn Heineken sees that her squad is versatile which has helped them be successful this season.
"The team we have now we can move people everywhere and still be successful and be able to make all of our plays correctly," Heineken said.
"Everybody has a part for every pitch, knowing the count, knowing the outs, knowing how to execute if you're on defense. Just really slowing it down that way and one pitch at a time that'll get us through," Patriots head coach Liz Alexander said.