Not that long ago, the Storm Lake softball team was 5-3 and struggling to find a true identity under ninth-year skipper Jason Stoltzfus.
Now, the Tornadoes are going to state for the first time since 1998, a year before Stoltzfus took over the helm.
A magnificent Morgan Darrow rifled another one-hitter and her fourth shutout in five games and the Greenies capitalized on six Warrior errors in a 6-0 3A Region 1 championship win over No. 2-ranked Sergeant Bluff-Luton here Monday.
It was Storm Lake's 11th straight victory.
The Tornadoes now play No. 12 Saydel - which beat No. 7 Carlisle 3-2 Monday - on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at roughly 8 p.m. on Diamond 2 at Fort Dodge's Rogers Sports Complex in opening-round state tourney competition.
No. 9 Storm Lake improved to 36-7, while SB-L closed 40-6, its best record in school history.
All six of Warriors pitcher Amber Baird's runs were unearned.
In seven frames of work, Darrow struck out seven and walked one to go with no runs and one hit.
Both pitchers cruised early, with Darrow mowing down four consecutive batters on strikes at one point.
SL catcher Slone Masters bashed the game's first hit, a single in the fourth, and Michaela Brungardt tagged a leadoff double in the top of six for the Tornadoes' only other hit.
SB-L fell apart in the fourth stanza.
Amanda Proczak plated Masters on an RBI groundout following two Warrior errors, and Brungardt hit a chopper on which SB-L made a throwing error to home plate. Two runs scored on the faux pas, making it 3-0 Storm Lake. Lindsay Guenther later scored on a wild pitch, and Mylea Zimmerman scored the Tornadoes' fifth and final run of the inning when Masters reached on yet another error. SB-L yielded five errors and five runs on one hit in the inning.
The Warriors bagged their only hit - a single from senior Kristin Breon - in the bottom half of four.
Nicole Martin scored Brungardt on an RBI groundout for the game's final run in the sixth, and second baseman Amber Woodford caught a pop-up for the final out in the Warriors' 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh as the Tornadoes pulled off the 6-0 shutout.
SL made one error and stranded four base runners, while SB-L left three on base.
If Storm Lake beats Saydel, it plays West Delaware or Davenport Assumption Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
The other 3A teams in the field are C.R. Xavier, Chariton, Harlan and ADM.