Eighth-ranked Iowa City Regina will play for its second state championship in three seasons after upsetting No. 2 Durant here Thursday afternoon at Rogers Park, 2-0.
The Regals (29-11 overall) meet Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Diamond 1 at 4:55 p.m. Friday.
Last year, Iowa City Regina was denied in its bid for a second straight title by Van Meter. The Regals claimed gold in 2015, a run which included a semifinal victory over St. Edmond.
Emily Bonnett was hit to start the game and came all the way around to score the first run, while Taylor O’Conner added a second run in the sixth to back Sarah Lehman’s effort inside the circle.
“Coach (Jon Prottsman) told us after the game that we’ve probably hit the ball better and played better in the field, but it was a big win,” Lehman said. “I felt like (Durant) had more to lose than we did. We got it done and it is what it is.”
Lehman, a returning all-stater and member of the all-tournament team, struck out eight and allowed just five hits. Regina played in both the state basketball and soccer tournaments this year.
Jess Hunter made a diving catch in center in the seventh that took away extra bases for the Wildcats, who had bested Iowa City Regina twice during the regular season by scores of 2-1 and 8-1.
“The experience is awesome (playing at state),” Lehman said. “Doing it and finishing it was awesome and I couldn’t be more proud (of my teammates).
“It’s taken a lot of work, but we did it.”
Durant (32-8) will meet Interstate 35 in the third place contest on Diamond 2 at 3:30 p.m. Aubrey Werthmann hit a triple to start the sixth and scored on a ball put in play by Kamryn Meyer.
Ruby Kappeler had two steals and two singles for the Wildcats, who captured state gold in 2013.
Meyer allowed just two hits and one earned run, striking out 10 batters.
IOWA CITY REGINA 2,
IC Regina 100 001 0 — 2 2 1
Durant 000 001 0 — 1 5 2
Sarah Lehman (W, 15-6, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 1 BB) and Maeve Dunne; Kamryn Meyer (L, 20-3, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 10 K, 1 BB) and Cathy Ralfs. 2B–D: Cathy Ralfs. 3B–D: Aubrey Werthmann. RBI-ICR: Taylor O’Conner; D: Kamryn Meyer. SB–D: Ruby Kappeler (2).