St. Edmond head softball coach Paul Hunt didn't see any pregame - or even first-inning - jitters from his squad Monday evening.
However, as a Class 2A quarterfinal started to develop into the latter stages, those nerves took over.
Unranked Ridge View scored three runs in the sixth to claim a 3-1 victory over the sixth-rated Gaels, advancing to Thursday's semifinal round against third-rated Durant.
Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Anna Yung of St. Edmond tags out Ridge View’s Kyra Hoffman at Rogers Park in a Class 2A?quarterfinal on Monday evening. For more photos, please visit CU at www.messengernews.net
For Hunt and St. Edmond (26-9 overall), it was a hard time to learn a time-tested lesson.
"Credit Ridge View, because they put the pressure on us and we didn't execute," Hunt said. "Our girls learned the hard way that if you don't make the routine plays in pressure situations, it will come back to haunt you.
"We battled and we fought; we just couldn't overcome those mistakes."
Ridge View 3, St. Edmond 1
Ridge View 000 003 0 - 3 5 1
St. Edmond 100 000 0 - 1 6 6
Gretchen Kistenmacher (W, 26-9, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) and Dana Hustedt; Katie Donnelly (L, 17-6, 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) and Maggie Harvey. 2B - SE: Allie Oberg, Jessica Kuebler. RBI - RV: Kistenmacher; SE: Oberg.SB - RV: Kistenmacher; SE: Megan Flattery, Jaci Stumpf. MH - SE: Stumpf (2), Kuebler (2).LOB - RV: 4, SE: 7.
Four of the six Gael errors came in that crushing sixth, as the Raptors (31-11) collected just one hit in that inning.
"We told our girls to play their game," said Ridge View head coach Scott Phelps, a Fort Dodge Senior High graduate who is married to St. Edmond graduate Jackie (Imming) Phelps. "When that happens, good things normally follow."
The Raptor fans sport shirts that read "Shock the World," and they did just that to a pro-Rogers Park littered with green and white.
"These girls believe," Phelps said. "That's half the battle in this game. When you believe, good things happen."
St. Edmond jumped on the board first in the opening inning, as Jaci Stumpf singled and came around to score on a double by Allie Oberg. The Gaels, stranded seven runners, though, including five in scoring position.
Ridge View's Gretchen Kistenmacher (26-9) was able to pitch around six hits, a walk and a hitter batter for the most part, while her defense committed just one error behind her.
"This is a new season where everybody is 0-0," Phelps said. "We know that Durant is going to be a tough test, as they just beat a Lawton-Bronson team that we played three times during the year."
Kistenmacher also had a run and an RBI, while five different Raptor batters had base knocks. Ridge View upset No. 1 North Union in the regional final to advance to state.
Stumpf was 2-for-3, as was Jessica Kuebler, for St. Edmond.
The last time the Gaels qualified for state they reached the semifinals before falling and placing third. This time, they will be able to finish as high as fifth once the consolation rounds begin on Wednesday.
First up for St. Edmond will be Lawton-Bronson (23-11) on the Yankee Diamond at noon.
"We aren't done in this tournament," Hunt said. "Our goal was to win it all, and I honestly felt like we had a great chance to do that.
"Now, we'll regroup, come back out Wednesday and try to get fifth."
Katie Donnelly had six strikeouts and allowed six hits. All three runs scored against her were unearned.
Ridge View's game versus Durant will take place Thursday at 1:30 p.m. on Diamond 2.