OTTAWA LAKE, Mich. — The Whiteford softball team is in the midst of an incredible year and coming up on Friday, they'll try to take another huge step.
The Bobcats will be playing in the state semifinal up at Michigan State University, hoping to punch their ticket to Saturday's state title game.
They're 39 and 4 this year and ranked No. 2 in the state of Michigan.
Whiteford is led by their superstar shortstop Aly VanBrandt who is hitting almost .700 this season as a junior and she's already committed to Indiana University.
This team was close to the final four a year ago but came up just short, falling in the quarterfinals. Now, they want that ultimate prize of a state championship, which would be their first since 1987.
The loss last season in the playoffs has been one of the driving forces for the Bobcats this season.
"Really motivating. We were pretty devastated by that loss last year," said Aly VanBrandt. "It was a game that I think we could have won, but a few things didn't go our way. We worked really hard this year and came through."
"Considering we were one out away from going to semifinals, it's pretty exciting to be able to be back here and it pushed us a lot more to get further," said senior Berlynn Keller.
"We've done more than we did last year and that's what we set out to do. We set out to improve and we did," said head coach Matt VanBrandt. "We've played tougher competition than we did last year and it's been a really great season. We're playing one more game and that was really the goal was to do just a little bit more this year and we did."
Whiteford will take on Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart on Friday at 3 p.m. from MSU.