Errors were not at a premium during Monday's Class 1A quarterfinal between top-ranked Akron-Westfield and Janesville.
The Westerners made the most of their extra opportunities, holding on for a 9-7 victory and advancing to Thursday's semifinals at Rogers Park. They will now face No. 5 Don Bosco, a 6-5 come-from-behind winner over sixth-ranked Lynnville-Sully in another quarterfinal yesterday.
Akron-Westfield (35-2 overall) had its string of nine-straight state tourney appearances snapped last year. Now they are back, and looking for a fifth title.
"I feel like there is more pressure getting to state than actually competing here," said A-W head coach Todd Colt, "but I have to convince my team of that."
Four runs in the fourth helped push the Westerners ahead of upset-minded Janesville (16-8). Combined, the two squads committed 10 errors.
"There are always nerves, but give credit to Janesville because they put pressure on us," Colt said.
Akron-Westfield 9, Janesville 7
A-W 012 410 1 - 9 11 5
Janesville 010 300 3 - 7 10 5
Kayla Tindall (W, 25-2, 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K), Dana Hedlund (5, 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) and Haley Coyle; Shelby Schnurstein (L, 12-8, 7 IP, 9 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) and Katy Harp.
2B-AW: Jordan Hansen. RBI-AW: Tindall (2), Smith, Kortney Hedlund (2), Bailey Davis (2), Hansen; J: Kendyl Sorge (2), Katie Watson, Harp. SB- AW: Danika Tindall, Hedlund, D. Hedlund, Hansen (2), Desi Oltmann; J: Sorge, Destiny Christopher, Allison Heese. MH-AW: Smith (2), K. Hedlund (2), D. Hedlund (2), Hansen (2), Sarah Schroeder (2); J: Christopher (2), Watson (2). LOB-AW: 9, J: 7.
A-W is on a 13-game win streak. The only two losses they have suffered came at the hands of top-ranked 4A program LeMars, which did not qualify for state after falling to Humboldt in regional play.
Kortney Hedlund, Bailey Davis, Jordan Hansen and Sarah Schroeder all had two hits for A-W, while Hedlund and Davis drove in a pair.