Brainerd’s Beadle comes up big in clutch, again
We’ve all dreamt it.
Ali Beadle lived it and lived it large.
Beadle’s jaw dropping, Achilles’ popping, heart stomping three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning during a 3-3 Section 8-3A championship game with the count full and two outs might go down as the most dramatic softball moment in Brainerd Warriors history.
It happened Wednesday at Adamson Field, where many memorable Warrior moments have occurred. But Beadle’s blast sent Brainerd back to the Class 3A state tournament for the second straight season.
“It is a dream come true and I’m ecstatic for her,” said Warriors head coach Mike Zauhar. “What an outstanding player. What an outstanding individual. She has been a great addition to our club and we are lucky get her. She fit right in. I’m just so pleased for all of our seniors. All 13 of them.”
For the transplant from Florida this season the dream scenario of hitting a walkoff homer on a full count with two out to win a championship isn’t anything new. She’s done it before — twice.
“This is actually a coincidence,” said Beadle. “Really, it is. When I was in Florida the last two regional games to qualify, I got the home run both times in the end. They were both, two walkoff home runs each year. It’s just weird. I don’t know why it keeps happening. It’s so strange.”
Strange was the right word to describe the mood after Beadle crossed home plate. During his celebration, Zauhar may have popped his Achilles tendon. The stubborn Crosby-Ironton Ranger transplant rubbed some dirt on it and joined his team to celebrate.
“We had a number of seniors, who did not play an aweful lot this year,” said Zauhar. “But they are as important to this team as the starters. I couldn’t be more proud of how they handled the entire year. There was never an ouce of problems and I’m just very fortunate to be a part of this program.”
One of the seniors who did play quite a bit was rewarded for her steller play.
Senior second baseman Ashley Tibbetts, who went 2-3 with a run and a walk Wednesday was selected to play in the Minnesota Fastpitch Softball Coaches’ Association All-Star series.
jeremy millsop, sports writer, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.