FREEDOM — Making it to the state softball tournament is a major accomplishment for any program. Back-to-back appearances are something special.
But the Freedom Irish softball team isn’t satisfied to simply be back in Madison, they want another championship Trophy.
The Irish begin their title defense Friday at the 47th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Softball Tournament at Goodman Diamond on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison.
Freedom, (25-2), the #2 seed this year, opens the Division 2 tournament at 4:30 p.m. Friday against #3 F.J. Turner of Beloit, (22-2).
A year ago, Freedom entered the tournament as the #2 seed and went on to win the title with a 5-4 victory over top-seeded Jefferson in the final.
This is the program’s fourth trip to state. The Irish’s first two appearances came back-to-back in Class B in 1986 and 1987, which resulted in losses in the semifinals.
Their quest to defend their title this year continues after a 9-1 win over Waupun in the Seymour Sectional final.
They finished runner-up in the North Eastern Conference in 2023.
Turner, the third seed, qualifies for state for the fifth time and for the first time since 2017.
The Trojans’ most notable experiences were a runner-up finish that season and a Division 3 runner-up finish in 2002.
They ousted West Salem 6-4 in the final of the Big Foot Sectional to earn their berth in the State Tournament field this season.
They finished second in the South Division of the Rock Valley Conference this season behind Division 3 qualifier Brodhead.
Semifinals – Friday, June 9
Game-1: #1 New Berlin Eisenhower (25-4) vs. #4 New London (18-6) – 2:30 p.m.
Game-2: #2 Freedom (25-2) vs. #3 Turner (22-2) – 4:30 p.m.*
Championship – Saturday, June 10
Game-3: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 4 p.m.
RADIO: WJMQ Radio
PRE-FINALS LIVE ON WIAA.TV: The pre-finals of State Softball Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, log-on to wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the blue subscription graphic in the upper right side of the homepage.
FINALS LIVE ON BALLY SPORTS WISCONSIN: Watch the WIAA State Softball Tournament finals on Bally Sports Wisconsin or the Bally Sports Wisconsin Extra channel. The championship games in Divisions 2-5 will air live on Bally Sports Wisconsin Extra. The Division 1 final will air on Bally Sports Wisconsin. Check local cable listings for the channel in your area. The championship finals will also be streamed live on the Bally Sports app. Register for the app and sign in with your cable or satellite authentication to stream on mobile devices. The finals can also be watched digitally on Bally Sports Wisconsin Plus through a subscription to the service. To subscribe, visit ballysportsplus.com.