Thursday’s semifinal round pairings are set at the state softball tournament in Fort Dodge. In class 1A, top ranked Akron-Westfield will play fifth ranked Don Bosco in the opener. Akron-Westfield survived five errors in a hard fought victory over Janesville in the opening round.
Westerners’ coach Todd Colt says they need to score runs as he doesn’t think they are going to beat people in 2-1 games. He says usually the offense brings the defense back.
Colt first game jitters contributed to the miscues as he says all the teams are nervous, but he says there is more pressure to get to state than playing there, “I just have to convince my team of that.”
A seventh inning homer by pitcher Kari Welter rallied Don Bosco past Lynnville-Sully in the opening round and Welter says comeback victories are nothing new for the Dons as she says they were down many times this year, but they believe in each other and don’t get down.
In the other 1A semifinal fourth ranked Newell-Fonda will play number 10 New London. Newell-Fonda advanced with a first round victory over Remsen St. Mary’s and coach Dick Jungers says the Mustangs will need another good effort from junior pitcher Renee Maneman.
New London ousted defending champion Martensdale-St. Mary’s in the opening round. Despite having just one senior on the roster catcher Emily Parks says have more experience this season has been a plus.
“We all were closer and we felt like our pitcher was better and we felt we could pull it out with a pitcher like Morgan,” She says.
Freshman pitcher Morgan Christner is in her second season at the varsity level.
In the class 2A semifinals second ranked and defending champion Treynor will take on eighth rated AGWSR and Ridge View plays third ranked Durant. In 3A a couple of teams not ranked in the top ten collide as New Hampton plays Clarke of Osceola. Jennifer Ankrom had the game winning RBI for New Hampton in a first round victory against third ranked Mid-Prairie.
They will take on a Clarke team beat number four East Marshall 6-3 in their first trip to state since winning it all back in 1995. Clarke coach Lindsay Diehl says her team will need an even better effort on Thursday and a key is cleaning up the little errors they make.
Fourth ranked Sergeant Bluff-Luton will take on Bondurant-Farrar in the other 3A semifinal. The 4A semifinals will feature a rematch of last years title game as second ranked Dallas Center-Grimes plays fifth rated Indianola. A year ago the Indians beat the Fillies 1-0 to claim the title.
Dallas Center-Grimes pitcher Paige Lowary says they worked really hard over the last season because they want don’t want to feel the feeling of losing the title again. Lowary tossed a no-hitter in a first round win over Denison-Scleshwig. Indianola opened with a 4-2 victory over Winterset.
Indianola coach Stacy Evans who says her team views this as a new challenge and not defending a title in a different year when they have to come out every year.
Washington plays fourth ranked Carlisle in the other 4A semifinal round game. That is a rematch of a first round game from last year won by Washington. In the class 5A semifinals second ranked and defending champion Ankeny plays number six Dowling Catholic and third ranked Ottumwa battles fifth rated Johnston.