MADISON — The Madison College softball team won its first region championship, is headed to its first national tournament and wouldn't be doing either without a little help from the Coulee Region.
Onalaska High School graduate Katelin Gilbertson has been a key part to the success of the WolfPack, who take a 49-8 record to Clinton, Miss., for the NJCAA Division II national tournament this week.
Madison is seeded 11th and plays Cowley (Kansas) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Traceway Park in the first round of a double-elimination bracket. Win or lose, the WolfPack play again on Thursday in a tournament will conclude Saturday.
Gilbertson slugged a home run in Madison's 3-1 win over Sauk Valley Community College in the Region IV Division II District B championship game on May 6. The two-run home run put the WolfPack in front for good after Sauk Valley scored the first run.
Sauk Valley forced the winner-take-all game by handing Madison a 4-2 loss earlier that day.
Gilbertson, who will continue her softball and academic careers at Viterbo University next season, has played in 38 games and started seven of them. She is batting .375, slugging .638, has 29 RBI and is tied for the team lead in home runs with five.
Gilbertson, a catcher, has also doubled six times and scored 14 runs for the WolfPack, who have won 27 of their last 28 games. She has one hit in three straight games and six multi-hit games this season.
She had 24 hits and drove in 24 runs to go with a team-high four home runs as a freshman at Madison.