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Albia, PCM Represented on All-State Softball Teams in Class 3A

Today, we’ll take a look at the Class 3A All-State Softball Teams.

Albia was a big surprise, upsetting their way to the Class 3A State Championship Game in Fort Dodge. Two of their players made First Team All-State.

Lead-off batter Hannah Isley had a great junior year, and that was rewarded with a First Team nomination. Pitcher Jena Lawrence progressed quickly as a freshman, and she also found herself on the top squad.

Isley batted .466 and hit 11 home runs this year. Lawrence was lights out in the pitching circle, striking out 253 batters in just 143 innings of work. She also hit over .400 at the plate and walked more times than she struck out.

Joining the two Lady Dees on the First Team was PCM senior Jayci Vos, who led the Mustangs in most offensive categories, including hitting near .500.

On the Second Team, Albia freshman Alex Beard and PCM senior Kayla Jennings were honored. Beard had a phenomenal season, leading the Lady Dees with 17 doubles and 39 RBI. Jennings was the second best hitter for the Mustangs and was the ace pitcher for a team who fell just shy of a regional final.

There were no area players listed on the Third Team.

We’ll dig into the Class 1A and 2A All-State lists later this week as we move forward with our wrap up of the summer sports season.

Five Honored in Class 4A and 5A All-State Softball Teams

Last week, the All-State Softball Teams were released by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, and there are athletes from all five classes that were honored in our listening area.

We’ll start by breaking down the lists from the large schools in Class 4A and 5A.

Oskaloosa finished in third place at the state tournament this year and several players were a big part of that success.

Perhaps the most important player for Oskaloosa softball once again was pitcher Alexis Groet, who was named First Team All-State once again, and finishes her high school career as a five-time All-State player for Head Coach Jay Harms.

She is joined by fellow senior Aubrey Miller, who was named to the Second Team after five successful seasons at the plate for the Indians. Freshman Ava VandeWall finished a great year as one of the best hitters in the Osky lineup and she was named Third Team All-State.

The trio of Osky players were the only ones from Class 4A in our listening area.

As for Class 5A, Ottumwa is the only team in our listening area and a pair of Bulldogs were named as All-State players.

On the Second Team, sophomore Morgan Greiner made the list after a great season for Head Coach Frank Huston. She is joined by freshman Kacy Nickerson, who was named to the Third Team.

Ottumwa finished one win away from the State Softball Tournament in Fort Dodge, but the future is bright for the Bulldogs with two underclassmen leading the way.

Later this week, we’ll look at the Class 1A, 2A, and 3A All-State Teams from the IGHSAU as we continue to wrap up our coverage from the summer sports season.

Albia, EBF Players Highlight South Central All-Conference Softball Teams

It was a banner year in the South Central Conference for softball, as two teams from the league played in state championship games. Those two teams, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont in Class 2A and Albia in Class 3A, were well represented in the All-Conference Teams voted on by the coaches.

There were only four unanimous First Team selections. Albia freshman Jena Lawrence and EBF senior Haegen Boyer and junior Randie Richmond had outstanding seasons, and they were joined by Clarke senior and Indian Hills commit Vanessa Bakely on the unanimous list.

Also on the first team was the pair of Alex Beard and Hannah Isley for Albia. EBF senior catcher Claire Jager also made the squad.

Centerville’s Abby Sweet and Lexi Riggall joined Clarke’s Sydnee Redman to round out the First Team.

The Second Team included Albia sophomore Kennedy Schroeder and EBF’s outfield tandem of Taryn Swartz and Reina Taylor. They were joined by several young players, including Knoxville freshman Maddy Findley. Davis County’s Bailey Yahnke, Chariton’s Saydee Terrell, Centerville’s Alyssa McElvain, and the Clarke trio of Ashlynn Oehlert, Alexis Watson, and Sidney Marker rounded out the Second Team.

All of the conference teams except EBF had players on the Honorable Mention list. That list included Albia’s Erin Heaton, Makenna Ross, and Makenzie Curran. Knoxville added Emery Neer, Lucy Olson, and Ann Sanderson. The Centerville trio of Claire Mathews, Taylor Shinn, and Tayler Jewett was joined by the Davis County trio of Jordan Lough, Shelby Clark, and Katie Hunter. Two duos rounded out the Honorable Mention list: Chariton’s Abbie Peterson and Grace Bengston, and Clarke’s CeJay Blakely and Chynna Beydler.

Albia came on strong with their young team to win the South Central Conference in 2017 with a record of 10-2, winning the tiebreaker with Clarke. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont finished a strong third with a 9-3 record in conference play. Centerville finished fourth, followed by Knoxville, Davis County, and Chariton.

Oskaloosa Defeats Burlington with Late Rally, Back to State in Softball

The Oskaloosa Indians were trying to make history on the softball diamond on Tuesday night, and riding another unbelievable performance from their ace, they did just that.

#7 Burlington was in town to face the #5 Indians in the Class 4A Region 5 Final with a trip to state on the line. When the dust settled, Osky would grab the win, 5-1.

Oskaloosa hit the ball well all night long against Grayhound pitcher Alivia Fawcett, getting hits in every inning but the fourth. They would plate the game’s first run in the second after singles by Aubrey Miller and Taylor Wills, which would be followed by a Maddie Haines sacrifice bunt and a Meghan Moorman RBI single.

On the other side in the early going, Osky pitcher Alexis Groet struck out the first eight she saw before allowing a couple hits in the fourth. She’d pitch around that jam to keep the score 1-0. After both teams were quiet in the fifth, Burlington brought the top of their order back up in the 6th. Slap hitting senior Mia Ruther would get her second hit of the game to lead off the inning, then she would promptly steal second. After back-to-back strikeouts, clean-up hitter Heather Geiger hit a soft grounder down the first base line. She would leg that out for an infield hit, and the throw to first from Groet would go down the right field line, allowing the tying run to score.

Into the bottom of the 6th, Oskaloosa wanted to get more runs before they fell behind. Ava VandeWall led off the inning with a double, representing the go-ahead run. Aubrey Miller would walk to follow that, and Taylor Wills would move the runners to 2nd and 3rd on a groundout to first base.

Maddie Haines would come through with a single down the left field line to give Osky the lead. Another bloop hit was hit to right field by Meghan Moorman, which set the table for senior Devan Welch, who got her second hit of the game for an RBI to increase the Osky lead. Josie Bunnell would also hit an RBI single to make it 5-1.

In the 7th, Groet would quickly retire all three batters she faced to give the Indians the win and move them to state for the third time in four years. This is also the first time in school history that Oskaloosa qualified for state in back-to-back campaigns. They won the Class 4A State Championship in 2016.

Osky advances to state where they will play on Tuesday next week at 3 PM against Mount Pleasant. The Indians are the #4 seed in the bracket with Mount Pleasant the #5 seed. You can catch all of the state tournament games for Osky on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app.

Softball Regional Finals To Be Decided Monday and Tuesday Nights

Over the next two days, 40 schools will punch their ticket to the Iowa High School Softball State Tournament at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge. In the No Coast Network listening area, there are seven who are looking to do just that.

On Monday night, Class 1A, 2A, and 3A will all be looking to raise a banner.

Class 1A Region 3 is one of the most incredible matchups in the state, as Montezuma (18-12) will host Fort Dodge St. Edmond (12-17). Monte finished the season strong but still had to win a play-in game against Tri-County, which they barely survived in walkoff fashion last Monday, 4-3. Then, the Bravettes came from behind to walkoff again on Wednesday, this time against North Mahaska, 2-1 in 10 innings. They made things a little easier on themselves last Friday, exploding late to defeat Lynnville-Sully on the road, 10-4.

Now, they’ll play one of the unlikeliest of regional finalists in Fort Dodge St. Edmond. The Gaels started their run last Monday by beating Coon Rapids-Bayard, 3-2, in a game at Harlan Rogers Park. The big upset occurred last Wednesday, as they defeated #5 Newell-Fonda, 8-6, in Fonda. They kept up the momentum on Friday, waltzing past Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton, 9-2.

These two will do battle on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app, beginning at 6:45 PM for the 7 PM first pitch in Montezuma.

In Class 1A Region 7, Sigourney (21-11) has to go on the road to face #3 Martensdale-St. Marys to get to state. The Savages have held serve throughout in the bottom half of the bracket, getting a 7-1 win over Winfield-Mount Union on Wednesday and a 6-5 win over New London on Friday, both at home.

Martensdale-St. Marys (32-3) dominated in their first game against Southeast Warren, 12-0, but faced a stiff test against Wayne before surviving, 4-3.

That game can be heard on 104.9 FM KBOE, kboeradio.com, and the KBOE mobile app at 6:45 PM for the 7 PM first pitch in Martensdale.

In Class 2A Region 6, two area teams will duke it out for one trip to state. #4 Pella Christian (32-5) will host #9 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (29-8) in Pella. These two teams haven’t seen each other yet this year, but have a great rivalry in other sports.

EBF has been ranked as high as #2 this season and seemed destined to comfortably sit at the top of their region, but after some confusion with the IGHSAU, regions needed shuffled and a white-hot Pella Christian was added to the Rockets’ bracket. After both teams strolled through the first two rounds, they now find themselves needing one win to make it to Fort Dodge. First pitch in Pella is at 7 PM.

Region 7 in Class 3A features #9 Albia (27-8) travelling to face #6 Solon (30-12). Albia has a ton of youth and has shown great growth all season long. Solon has been there and done that, qualifying for state on a near-yearly basis. These two will lock horns in Solon at 7 PM.

On Tuesday night, just two area teams will be looking to advance to state.

Class 4A Region 5 sees the defending state champion and fifth-ranked Oskaloosa Indians (28-12) hosting #7 Burlington (22-17). Osky breezed past Washington in the semifinals to get to this point, hosting another regional final. They’ll face Burlington, a perennially ranked team in Class 5A who dropped down to 4A this year. The Greyhounds had to sweat it out in the semis, needing extras to down North Scott at home on Saturday, 3-1.

That game can be heard live from the Oskaloosa Softball Field at 6:45 PM on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app. First pitch Tuesday night is at 7 PM.

Finally, the Ottumwa Bulldogs (26-14) will look to keep up a strong tradition under Head Coach Frank Huston and get back to state. The #11 Bulldogs will face top-ranked Waukee (37-3-1) on the road Tuesday night. Both teams won by double-digits in their first postseason game and it will be sure to be a heavyweight fight in Waukee on Tuesday night, with the first pitch at 7 PM.

Be sure to stay locked in on KBOE and KMZN on the air and on the web for all the latest scores and updates throughout the postseason.

Newton, Washington Advance in First Round of Class 4A Softball Regionals

In regional softball action last night, several area teams attempted to punch their ticket to the semifinals in Class 4A.

In Class 4A Region 3, Pella was defeated by Norwalk, 6-2. Pella’s season ends with a record of 8-28. Norwalk will face Carlisle on the road Saturday night at 7 PM in the regional semis.

In Class 4A Region 5, Washington defeated Central DeWitt, 7-2. That locks in a third matchup between the Demons and #5 Oskaloosa. Those two teams split early in the season in Osky. This matchup will also occur at the Oskaloosa High School Softball Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 PM Saturday night and you can hear the live coverage on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app starting at 6:45 PM.

In Region 7 in Class 4A, Grinnell was dispatched by Cedar Rapids Xavier, 12-0. Grinnell’s season comes to a close with an 8-26 record.

Region 8 saw two area schools pitted against each other in Newton and Knoxville. Newton rode the home field advantage to a huge 11-1 victory to move into the regional semifinals against #2 Winterset on the road on Saturday night at 7 PM. Knoxville’s season ended with a record of 12-16.

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