Patience pays off for Indees in return to state - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Patience pays off for Indees in return to state

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It's a homecoming of sorts for Independence baseball.

After qualifying for the inaugural WIAA State Spring Baseball Tournament in 1948, the school is heading back this week for the 70th edition of the championships.

Independence/Gilmanton will face Webster on Wednesday morning in the Division 4 state semifinals. First pitch is scheduled for 8 a.m. at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton.

The Indees won the Riverdale sectional title last week with a 6-2 win over De Soto, a step up from 2016 when the team lost to Hillsboro in the sectional semifinals and showed signs of nerves.

Independence/Gilmanton head coach Darin Pape said his team stepped off the bus ready to play this year, and the maturity showed.

"They just kept at it and kept at it and kept at it and look where we are," he said. "It could have went either way, we got lucky along the line. You have to have some breaks too. I thought we just kept at it and kept at it and kept at it and it turned in our favor."

The Indees feature six seniors, but like most small-town teams, its players have shared the diamond since youth league. Junior Dane Keenan said the group's ongoing hard work finally culminated with a sectional title.Tuesday.

"Just been a dream since tee ball. We got the guys to do it so we're giving it a run," he said.

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