Three champions were crowned during the final night of the state high school softball tournament. Most coaches spend an entire career chasing a state championship and never get one. Just more than three weeks from her 20th birthday, Cardinal of Eldon coach Steph Christner has her first. A two run double by Hilarie Droz in the top of the first gave third-ranked Cardinal an early lead as the Comets and their 19-year-old coach downed Bellevue 3-1 for the 1A crown. Christner says she owes it all to her team. Hilarie Droz had the big hit for Cardinal with that two-run double in the top of the first to open the scoring.In the Class 3A championship, West Des Moines Valley’s Katie Collins singled in the first run of the game, part of a three-run fifth for the Tigers, as they downed-second ranked North Scott, dashing the hopes of the Lancers for back-to-back titles.It was quite a 24-hour period for the Tigers who saw standout shortstop Kelsey Wells suffer an elbow injury in a freak accident during pregame introductions before Thursday’s semifinal round then went out and beat the number-one and number-two teams to earn the school’s second title. Collins says Wells’ injury made the victory bittersweet, as they’re best friends and she says it was a shame she couldn’t have played. Courtney Strang will start high school in a couple of weeks but she already owns a state championship. The freshman-to-be tossed a four-hitter as seventh-rated Solon downed fifth-ranked Carlisle 4-0 for the 2A title.
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