Assumption back in finals
Allie Timmons doesn’t need a lot of run support when she’s in the pitching circle, so an early first inning run seemed insignificant.
But for Davenport Assumption, it may have been the most important run of the game this year’s state tournament run for the team so far.
That run, plus a late burst, put the top-ranked Knights (40-2 overall) in line for their third straight championship with a 6-0 win over sixth-ranked Waterloo Columbus (36-5) onWednesday.
Assumption is looking to become the sixth squad in state history to win three consecutive state championships. The Knights will play the second-ranked Louisa-Muscatine Friday at 3:30 p.m. on Kruger Seeds Field for the 3A title.
Sophomore catcher Anna Wohlers plated senior Lea Nelson to hand the Knights a 1-0 lead — a run that head coach Ron Ferrill believes dictated the rest of the contest.
“People may not realize how huge that run was,” Ferrill said. “Anna had some bad approaches (at the plate against Algona in the quarterfinals), so for her to come through early and shake that was huge.
“She made a great adjustment. She doesn’t struggle with confidence, but I think that calmed her down helped her behind the plate.”
Timmons, a University of Iowa recruit, had little trouble with the Sailor lineup. Timmons struck out eight batters while allowing only four hits. Only five runners reached base, and Alivia Schultz was the only Sailor to get to second. She recorded two of the four hits.
“That one run took a lot of pressure off,” Timmons said. “We never get complacent in the field.
“It’s a great feeling to be back in the state championship with these girls. Getting there is again is great, because the last pitch is the best one.”
Columbus pitcher Kayla Sproul scattered 12 hits and kept the Knights at bay until a three and two run explosion in the fifth and sixth.
Twelve hits and six Columbus errors were the key for the Knights.
The top two hitters in the Knights’ order, Nelson and Wardlow, were a combined 7-for-8. Nelson had three hits and an RBI; Wardlow had four hits, including a double.
Timmons was in a tight contest against Algona in the opener on Monday and surrendered two runs late. On Wednesday, she settled in early and kept pressure on the Sailors.
“Allie did a fantastic job,” Ferrill said “This group are masters of staying loose. They prepare the same way and execute the same way.”
Columbus will meet West Liberty for third place on Friday at 2:30 p.m. on Iowa Central Field.
DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION 6,
WATERLOO COLUMBUS 0
Columbus 000 000 — 0 4 6
Assumption 100 032 x — 6 12 0
W–Timmons (7IP, 4H, 0ER, 1BB, 8SO); L–Sproul (6IP, 12H, 4ER, 0BB, 1SO); 2B–WC: Alivia Schultz; DA: Olivia Wardlow. SB–DA: Olivia Wardlow, Katie Andersen, Lea Nelson, Nicole Yoder.