Mustangs, Chargers get wins in region finals; gain state tourney berths
On To State!
Reis hurls gem as N-F edges Woodbury Central, 3-1
The Newell-Fonda softball team played for keeps here Monday night in a 3-1 win over Woodbury Central in a Class 1A region final.
They did so for good reason. With the win, the Mustangs gained the school's first-ever state tourney softball berth.
"Our kids played just an outstanding game," said Newell-Fonda softball coach Dick Jungers. "We played outstanding defense and that was probably the key. Our kids made some great plays tonight."
Reis limited Woodbury to just five hits, while WC pitcher Rochelle Ebert yielded five.
The Mustangs made the most of their hits, bunching them together, getting three in the top of the third to score two runs.
In that frame, senior Samantha Schaffer singled, then took third on Destiny Sievers' double.
Newell-Fonda second baseman Tiffany Parker came up with what was the game's key hit.
With two outs, Parker lined a pitch over the Woodbury Central third baseman's head to score Schaffer and Sievers.
Woodbury Central got to within 2-1 in the bottom of the third, nicking Reis for an unearned run.
Both pitchers relied on their defenses through the middle innings, but Newell-Fonda added a key insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Michelle Grau singled and after advancing to second, came home on a ringing double by Schaffer.
In the bottom of the seventh, Reis struck out the first Woodbury Central batter for the crucial first out.
All-state catcher Andrea Larsen caught a pop up in foul territory to record the second out with one Woodbury Central runner on.
Reis finished the game with a flourish by striking out Woodbury Central's Mel Ebert on a swinging third strike.
"We had a lot of different kids step up for us tonight," Jungers said. "I'm just proud of the effort they gave not just tonight, but during the entrie season.
With the win, Newell-Fonda reached the 30-win mark with just eight losses. They'll open play at state Monday in Fort Dodge. At press time, the opponenet wasn't yet known.
Johnson fires shutout in 4-0 win over N. Kossuth
For the second time in the past three years, the Laurens-Marathon softball team will compete in the Class 1A state tournment.
Ace pitcher Bryn Johnson tossed a three-hit shutout here Monday night, and senior first baseman Kristi Brechler had a couple of clutch RBI singles to lead the Chargers past North Kossuth, 4-0.
The game was a Class 1A, Region final and improved the Chargers' overall record to 25-4.
Johnson drove home the Chargers' first run, which came in the first inning.
Laurens-Marathon added single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
"We were very aggressive at the plate and that's exactly what we've been working on in practice," Charger coach James Laughlin said.
"Getting to the state tournament was our goal at the start of the season and it's very gratifying for our kids to reach that goal."
Brechler hit RBI-singles in the third and fifth innings, and in the sixth, Laci Hall put some icing on the cake with a solo homer.
At the top of the lineup, senior speedster Jacqulyn Schmidt was a key. She was a rally igniter, going 2 for 3 and scoring two crucial runs.
"Jacqulyn put some pressure on North Kossuth's defense and Kristi really came through with a couple of big singles for RBI."
Johnson was her dominating self in the mound, Laughlin said.
"When Bryn's on, she can be very tough to hit, and tonight, she was," Laughlin said. "They did hit two or three balls hard but they didn't get by our defense. We didn't make an error and that was key."
The Chargers will open state tournament play Monday night at 5 p.m. At press time, the Chargers' opponent had not yet been determined.