The West Region's No. 3 seed wasn't what the Stanley softball team had in mind when it came to Minot to play in the Class B West Region tournament last week.
The Blue Jays wanted a region championship and the No. 1 seed. Instead, they were mere spectators when Westhope-Newburg-Bottineau defeated Watford City to claim the region title.
The only team to receive a first-round bye, the Blue Jays dropped two of their three contests their only two losses this season and will play East Region No. 2 seed Kindred-Richland in the first round of the Class B state tournament today at 2 p.m. at South Hill Complex.
Stanley returns to Minot looking to complete some unfinished business.
"I think we went in knowing we hadn't lost and we didn't know how to react to losing," Stanley coach Kayelee Corpron said. "Unfortunately, we did lose, but I think it was also a good thing to understand how it feels to lose and bounce back from that."
Stanley was upset by W-N-B 6-5 in the second round before staying alive with a 10-1 victory over Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood-Kenmare-Bowbells. The tournament ended on a sour note as the Blue Jays saw their chances of advancing to the championship game diminish in a 6-5 loss to Watford City.
"We just need to keep our heads straight," Corpron said. "If there's a mistake we have to work together and have each other's back. That was one thing we lacked in the region tournament that we worked on."
This is Stanley's first year as a sanctioned program and just its second year overall. Last year, the Blue Jays played a JV schedule and weren't eligible for postseason play.
Stanley will look to its seniors, Sarah Taylor and Alena Janssen, as well as junior Brianna Holland and sophomore Rebekah Taylor. All four were named all-region and Sarah Taylor was the region's senior athlete of the year.
Corpron said she knows nothing about Kindred-Richland, but doesn't necessarily consider that a bad thing.
"Honestly, it doesn't really matter who we play," she said. "Because we're coming in as the third team from our region I don't think they're going to be prepared or necessarily think we're good as we are just because we did have bad couple days in the region tournament. I think it can be used as our advantage."