Akron Westfield proved why it ended the regular season as the top-ranked Class 1A team in Iowa.
The Westerners ended Storm Lake-St. Mary's' tourney run here Friday 16-0 in five innings.
According to Panther coach Courtney Berg, A-K used the short game - in the form of 21 singles - to score in every inning.
"They are very good at executing that kind of game," Berg said. "We knew it was something they would do but we still had trouble with it."
The Westerners scored two runs in the second, three in the third, four in the fourth and seven in the bottom of the fifth to end the game via the ten-run rule.
"It was a matter of us really being on our game and St. Mary's being off theirs," A-K coach Todd Colt said. "We saw them play last week and we were impressed with a lot of the things they did.
"Richardson and their catcher (Jess Lussman) are both very fine players," he added.
Senior righthander Ashley Langner took the loss, while designated hitter Robyn Bredvick had the only Panther hit.The Panthers finished with a 13-11 mark.
"We had a great season and our loss (Friday night) shouldn't change that," Berg said. "We accomplished nearly every goal we set, including a top-three finish in the conference and a district championship.
Akron-Westfield will meet Woodbury Central Monday night in Akron in the Region 1 Finals.
Playing their last games for the Panthers were seniors Coleen Smith, Langner and Megan Snyder.