Top-ranked Pleasant Valley entered the class 4A opening round on a 33-game winning streak and did not take long to show they were headed for number 34. Senior shortstop Morgan Betker slammed a two-run homer, part of a four run first, and the Spartans went on to defeat ninth-rated Johnston 8-2. Not only did the Spartans carry the number-one ranking into the tournament but they are making their first trip to state. “Everybody was very nervous but we were also very excited,” Betker says. “We’re just got to ahve fun and play our game.” Cedar Rapids Jefferson edged nuber-three Fort Dodge 1-0. Nancy Hilbers drove in the only run of the game with a triple to deep center in the sixth inning. With both pitchers rolling, Hilbers says she knew the game would be decided by one swing. It is the fourth-straight appearance for Fort Dodge and their fourth-straight loss. “My goodness, you get here, you want to win….I don’t know,” Dodger’s coach Andi Adams said after the game. Defending 4A champion Dowling Catholic used a seventh inning rally to advance. The Maroons scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to beat Ottumwa 5-4. Molly Devenney scored the game winner when she tagged up from third on a pop up to short right center. Devenney says one thing ran through her mind when she saw the umpire call her safe at home plate: “Oh, my god, I’m so excited.” Brooke McKelvogue fired a two hitter as fifth-ranked West Des Moines Valley posted a 7-0 win over seventh-rated Muscatine. McKelvogue got all the runs she needed in the bottom of the first when sophomore first baseman Molly McClelland doubled off the centerfield fence scoring the first run of the game. In Class 1A, Alburnett beat Newell-Fonda 7-3 last night. Fifth-ranked Laurens-Marathon upset number one Charter Oak-Ute 5-1.
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