One of the biggest storylines going into the Class 3A State Tournament was just how wide open this class was. Many believed that quite a few teams possessed the ability to win it all this year. However, no one expected the crazy upset-fest that was round one of the Class 3A State Tourney. 5th seeded Center Point-Urbana and 6th seeded Mount Vernon both defeated teams slotted ahead of them in the brackets, but the biggest upset came when the Albia Lady Dees defeated the Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley Nighthawks, 9-6.
It all started off with a literal bang for Albia (29-8) as Hannah Isley went yard in the first offensive at bat for the Dees in the bottom of the first. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (32-3), however, would answer back in their side of the 2nd with 4 runs to make the score 4-1 after an inning and a half. Costly errors allowed Albia to put runners on base in the bottom of the 2nd and they would capitalize with another homer, a 2-run shot courtesy of Rylee Leshen. Hannah Isley and Alex Beard also drove in runs in the 2nd to make it 5-4 Lady Dees after 2. Scoring would pick back up in the 4th when Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley’s Alexis Mousel would drive in a run to tie the game, 5 all.
It wouldn’t stay tied for long though as Albia would rip the lead right back in the bottom of the 4th after RBIs by Jena Lawrence and Kennedy Schroder made it 8-5 Albia after 4. Albia would add another insurance run in the bottom of the 6th via another Hannah Isley homer to make it 9-5 Albia going into the top of the 7th. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley would score 1 in the top of the 7th, but an Albia double play would end the game, 9-6. Neither team’s starting pitcher was dominant in this game, but Jena Lawrence came through in the end to pick up the win over Nighthawk ace Kaitlyn Van Der Zwaag, who came into the game with an ERA of 0.93.
Albia’s next appearance will come against a team that also pulled an upset. The 6th seeded Mustangs of Mount Vernon got the win over Sioux Center to set up an interesting 6 vs 7-seed semifinal. The Mustangs have been to state three straight times and are led by the fantastic multi-sport athlete Libby Ryan. Ryan is the biggest bat in the Mount Vernon order, coming into the tourney batting .485.
The No Coast Network will have coverage of the Class 3A State Semifinal Thursday, July 20th, at Rogers Sports Complex. Game time tentatively set for 5:30 PM. The pregame show is set for around 5:15 on 104.9 FM KBOE, kboeradio.com, and the KBOE mobile app.