Hoover chases 4A title

—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Des Moines Hoover celebrates after beating Sergeant Bluff-Luton in a Class 4A semfinal game. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

It took Des Moines Hoover 36 years to get back to Fort Dodge for the state softball tournament.

Now that the Huskies are at Rogers Park, they’re ready to make their championship dreams become a reality.

An 11-run third inning brought that plan into focus during a Class 4A semifinal contest here Wednesday, as Hoover prevailed 12-1 in five innings over Sergeant Bluff-Luton on Diamond 2.

Making their first state appearance since 1982, the seventh-seeded Huskies (21-7 overall) will now try to take their underdog role one final step against No. 1 seed Adel-ADM (35-7) on Friday at 5:45 p.m. in the title round.

Clean-up hitter Hannah Poortinga had three hits and drove in three runs for Hoover, which upset Charles City in the quarterfinals here on Tuesday. Karli Benson drove in a pair and added two hits, while leadoff batter Hannah Blackford — the pitcher — helped her own cause by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Blackford kept SB-L (24-14) in check with the big lead, working all five innings and allowing just a single earned run on a solo homer in the bottom of the first by Emma Christensen. Blackford walked one and struck out three.

The Huskies rapped four doubles, as Blackford, Poortinga, Katie Burns and Abby Nolte all had two-baggers. Nolte scored three times.

Hoover — a member of the Class 5A-dominated CIML — sent 16 batters to the plate in its breakout inning, recording nine base hits in the process. The Warriors committed five errors in the loss.

SB-L will take on Newton (25-8) for the consolation championship at 4:45 p.m. on Diamond 2 Friday.

DM HOOVER 12,

SERGEANT BLUFF-LUTON 1 (5)

DM Hoover 10(11) 00 — 12 12 1

SB-L 100 00 — 1 6 5

WP–Hannah Blackford (10-3; 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). LP–Bradee Bouman (16-10; 3 IP, 11 H, 12 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K). 2B–DMH: Hannah Blackford, Hannah Poortinga, Katie Burns, Abby Nolte; SB-L: Terri Deitloff, Kinzey Foley. HR–SB-L: Emma Christensen. SB–DMH: Meadow Lecocq.