Career victory No. 494 will be one Treynor head coach JoEllen Travis never forgets.
Travis, who has coached at the school for 21 years, guided the No. 13 (Class 2A) Cardinals to their first-ever state softball championship with a 4-0 victory over fifth-ranked Des Moines Christian Friday afternoon at Rogers Park.
Treynor (28-5 overall) lost to the Lions (29-7) last year in the seventh-place game. This one, however, had more importance to it.
"It's just surreal," said Travis, moments after receiving hugs from members of the Treynor community. "A lot of people look at softball as a secondary sport because it takes place in the summer, but in my heart, softball has always been my favorite.
"This is just an incredible feeling."
The Cardinals used small-ball tactics to defeat power-heavy Des Moines Christian. The Lions entered the game having hit 42 home runs on the year, but Treynor pitcher Madison Keysor surrendered just five hits in earning the win, striking out 15 batters.
Des Moines Christian 0
Treynor 200 101 0 4 13 1
DM Christian 000 000 0 0 4 1
Madison Keysor (W, 26-4, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K) and Kate Killinger; Leah Harris (L, 18-3, 3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K), Anne Albaugh (4 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Olivia Rasmussen. LOB T: 10; DM Christian: 6. SB T: Alex Snyder (2). RBI T: Snyder.
Alex Snyder singled and stole second in the first, while Lexi Rogers moved her to third with a bunt single. After a strikeout, Snyder was plated on an illegal pitch by Leah Harris, while Rogers scored on a wild pitch.
Treynor tacked on another run in the fourth after Emma Fiene moved from first-to-third on a pair of wild pitches. Fiene scored on an error by Des Moines Christian. One more insurance run scored in the sixth on an Alex Snyder RBI sacrifice fly.
Keysor, just a junior, finished her three-game state tournament trek with 33 strikeouts and only 12 hits allowed. She struck out the side to complete the game, running to celebrate in the arms of catcher Kate Killinger.
"Madison works so hard, probably the hardest out of everybody on our team," Travis said. "I know this is a great feeling, but I expect that she will continue to work hard and be even better next year."
Prior to this finish, the best a Treynor team had done at state was fifth. They graduate just one senior from the roster, providing plenty of opportunity for a repeat state title next year.
"We only lose Alex, and she is a big loss, but we have girls that will work very hard to replace her," Travis said. "We are going to continue to push forward and build off this wonderful experience."
Snyder garnered the all-tournament team captain status, as teammates Lexis Rogers, Keysor and Kate Killinger joined her. Snyder finished with seven tournament hits, one shy of tying the all-time record.
This runner-up performance also marked the best finish for Des Moines Christian at state, as the Lions had placed fifth twice before.
Tierra Fletcher, Harris and Annette Bosman all made the tournament team for Des Moines Christian.