In day two of the girls state softball tournament, sixth-ranked West Des Moines Dowling scored their lone run in the sixth as the Maroons edged cross-metro rival and seventh-rated Des Moines East 1-0. Dowling coach John Wilkinson has been happy with his team’s defense, as they’ve gone several games without an error.East had a runner on third with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Dowling held on to secure the victory. Wilkinson was coaching against East coach Bob Ligouri — the two are friends — and Wilkinson says the situation was tough on the heart. Ligouri had been the coach of Dowling last year and Wilkinson was his assistant.Wilkinson was relieved to get away with a one-run victory between two-ranked teams matching up in the first round.Dowling will face Cedar Rapids Jefferson in Thursday’s semifinals, as Jefferson shut out Urbandale 3-0. Beth Tharp socked a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to give Bettendorf a four-to-three win over Sioux City Heelan in a Class 3-A quarterfinal match-up. Bettendorf coach Scott Lammers was happy with the result saying they got a great pitching performance.Bettendorf trailed three-to-one going into the bottom of the seventh, and Lammers told his team to go out there and give it their all.It was Bettendorf’s first appearance at state in over two decades.Bettendorf will face top-ranked North Scott in the semifinals Thursday. North Scott rallied back from a 4-2 deficit in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game and then win in the 12th inning 5-4 over 20th-ranked Fort Dodge. Clear Lake scored all their runs in the second inning to give the Lions a three-to-nothing win over Red Oak in a Class 2-A quarterfinal Tuesday night. Megan Keefe pitched a three-hit shutout for Clear Lake, and she says it’s been a tough road to get to the semis.Keefe has steadily improved her play, leading Clear Lake to six straight tournament wins, including upset wins over number three Forest City, tenth-ranked Estherville/Lincoln Central and number 19 Spirit Lake.Clear Lake coach Josh Byrnes says his team has accomplished a lot in the last few weeks, without any pressure of being ranked and the target.Clear Lake held off a Red Oak rally in the fifth as the Lions tagged out Red Oak outfielder Margo Woods in a run-down between third and home. Byrnes says that play helped keep the momentum going Clear Lake’s way.Clear Lake will face Independence in one of the Class 2-A semifinals on Thursday night. The Mustangs’ Keely McKernan socked a three-run homer in the fifth inning, helping lift Independence to a five-to-one victory over Williamsburg. Independence coach Lyle Hosch says his seniors stepped up.Hosch says his team needs to continue its good offense and defense.Hosch says at this point the players know their goals, and more practice won’t help.Belmond-Klemme will face Clear Creek/Amana in Thursday night’s other semifinal.
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