The class 4A title matchup is set at the state high school softball tournament. Johnston spotted Sioux City Easty an early 1-0 lead but the Dragons scored twice in the third inning and added three more in the fourth in a 5-12 victory to earn their first trip to the title game.
Johnston coach Todd Merical says the Dragons stayed composed despite giving up a run in the opening inning. Merical says they’ve been behind before and won and talked about that and being patient.
Johnston caught fire late in the season and the Dragons have won nine of their last 11 games heading into the championship. Johnston will play number-four Waukee in the title game. Morgan Hoeg led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a game winning homer as the Warriors toppled number one and defending state champion West Des Moines Valley 5-4.
In class 3A, Jordan Gronewold tossed a three hitter but it was her bat that helped break the game open for third-ranked Carlisle. With the game scoreless Gronewold led off the top of the sixth inning with a triple and the Wildcats eventually scored two runs in a 2-0 victory over Keokuk.
Gronewold says she knew they needed to get something started and just stepped up to the plate and tried to get it done.
The Wildcats take a 38-1 record into the title contest. Carlisle will take on top ranked Clear Creek-Amana for the title. The Clippers got an unearned run in the top of the 11th to edge defending champ Winterset 1-0.
In 2A, #2 Emmmetsburg got by fourth rated Bondurant-Farrar 3-2 and fifth rated Conrad BCLUW blanked Iowa City Regina 2-0. 1A, second ranked and defending champ Newell Fonda got by Martensdale St. Marys 3-2 and Earlham beat #5 Akron Westfield 7-2.