Alburnett, Akron-Westfield, Norwalk, and West Des Moines Valley claimed championships Friday at the state softball tournament in Fort Dodge. You can’t lose if the other team doesn’t score and that’s the rout number three Norwalk took to the 3A championship. Carlye Owens tossed a three hitter and posted her third-straight shutout as the Warriors downed top-ranked and defending champion Spirit Lake 4-0. In 18-innings of action, Norwalk had only scored two runs but they gave Owens a boost by scoring two in the bottom of the second to take an early lead. “I do thank all of my teammates for getting me extra runs early,” Owens says. For Owens, it was her fourth shutout in the last five games. Spirit Lake finally dug a hole they could not get out of. The Indians had posted four consecutive come from behind wins but seven errors hurt their cause.In Class 1A, trailing fourth-rated Laurens-Marathon 3-1 after three innings of play, Alburnett pitcher Erin Lagerquist remained confident the Pirates could rally and she was right. Alburnett scored three runs in the fifth and added two more in the sixth for a 6-3 victory in the 1A championship. It’s the school’s first tital since 1999. Alburnett finished with seven hits against Charger pitcher Bryn Johnson. “Coach yelling at us got our heads on straight,” Johnson says. “We just pulled together.”Alburnett overcame shaky defensde early in the game. They committed three errors in the bottom of the second as they fell behind 2-0. Lagerquist helped her own cause by getting two hits. She also scored a run in the decisive fifth inning. Alburnett ends the season 36-17. Laurens-Marathon made it to the title game for the first time and closes out with a record of 27-5. In Class 4-A, West Des Moines Valley beat Cedar Rapids Jefferson 1-0 to win the championship. Valley sophomore Molly McClellan is known for her power-hitting, but it was her bunt that drove in the winning run in the fourth inning. “I was nervous and I’m just kind of letting go right now,” she said after the game. “Just trying to enjoy it all…It feels amazing.” It was a surprisingly lop-sided game in the Class 2-A final, as Akron-Westfield beat Solon 9-2.
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