Three champions will be crowned tonight at the state high school softball tournament in Fort Dodge. If the semifinal round is any indication then tonight’s 3-A title game mighttake a while to decide. Sixth ranked Des Moines Lincoln got a seven inning nohitter from Lisa Birocci but the Rails needed 14 innings to push across thegame’s only run in a victory over top ranked North Scott, while 11th ranked Fairfield needed a seventh inning single by Kadie Kane to edge second ranked Sioux City East 1-0. Both Fairlfield victories in the tournament have been 1-0 and coach Bob Bradfield said it may take something similar to win the title. Lincoln will be looking to make it one better tonight after the railsfinished as the runner-up a year ago. Fairfield coach Bob Bradfield saysholding Lincoln in check will be more difficult than people think.In the class 2-A title game top ranked Waukee plays second ranked ClearLake. Waukee coach Jen Slauson says ever since a semifinal round loss lastyear her team has been pointing to this game.Clear Lake finished second in 1997 but coach Troy Heller says there is a different atittude this time around.Top ranked Woodward-Granger matches up with number-two Alburnett in the 1-A championship. Alburnett is making its first title game appearance since 1961 and sophomore pitcher Amy Rowe says they are happy to be there.Woodward-Granger’s Jen Bice becomes the first player to pitch in five summer state title games as the Hawks look for back-to-back championships. Bice knows Alburnett will be a challenge.In consolation action today:Armstrong Ringsted scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to down South Winneshiek 4-1 in the fifth place game in class 1-A at the state softball tournament. The game marked the end of the career ofArmstrong-Ringsted coach Larry Hunecke (hun-uh-key) who is retiring after23-years at the helm.
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