Hoover triumphant in return to state

Huskies end three-decade drought with upset

The last time Des Moines Hoover faced Charles City at the state softball tournament was in 1982, as the Huskies claimed the one-class championship.

Making their return to Rogers Park three decades later, Hoover used a 7-2 victory over the Comets Tuesday to advance to the Class 4A semifinals. The Huskies (20-7 overall) will meet No. 15 Sergeant Bluff-Luton on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on Diamond 2.

In the first, Hoover took advantage of three batters getting hit by a pitch before Katie Burns delivered a two-run double. Jordan Redeker followed with a two-RBI single and the Huskies quickly had a 5-0 lead.

“If you one or two runs in the first, it’s great,” Hoover head coach Missie Feuerbach said. “But that’s easy to come back from. To get five, that really allowed us to trust in ourselves and just breathe.

“We could play without any pressure and just play the game.”

The Huskies took out defending champion Winterset in the regional semifinals, 8-3, and bested ninth-ranked Lewis Central in the final, 3-2, to advance. They have won 10 of their last 13 games overall.

“We like to hit first so that we can score first,” Feuerbach said. “We trust in our defense and believe in our bats. Our motto is to stay loose, have confidence and have fun; our girls do all of those things.”

Hannah Blackford earned the win in the circle, striking out four with five hits allowed. She also recorded a triple and a double, with Burns and Redeker each driving in a pair.

Charles City (33-7), making its 27th appearance at state all-time, will face fifth-ranked Independence in the consolation round on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on Dodger Diamond. The Comets finished fourth here last year and fifth the season before.

DES MOINES HOOVER 7, CHARLES CITY 2

DM Hoover 500 002 0 – 7 5 3

Charles City 000 200 0 – 2 5 2

WP-Hannah Blackford (9-3, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 0 BB); LP-Samantha Heyer (23-4, 7 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 9 K, 3 BB).

3B-DMH: Hannah Blackford. 2B-DMH: Katie Burns, Hannah Blackford. CC: Ashlyn Hoeft, Tayler Schmidt. RBI-DMH: Karli Benson, Katie Burns (2), Jordan Redeker (2), Jade Sharp, Hannah Poortinga; CC: Tayler Schmidt, Payton Reams.