Clarksville wins thriller

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Clarksville players celebrate their semifinal win on Wednesday afternoon at Rogers Park. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

In as classic a state softball game as there could be, Clarksville found its way back to the state championship game with a 1-0 win over Lisbon in the 1A state semifinals at Rogers Park on Wednesday afternoon.

The Indians managed to scratch across a run in the top of the fifth inning, then survived a rally by Lisbon in the bottom of the seventh.

Clarksville returns to the 1A state game after finishing second in 2017. The Indians fell one game short of state last year.

Waiting for the Indians on Krueger Field Thursday evening at 6 will be top-ranked and defending state champion Collins-Maxwell.

Clarksville will bring a 33-1 record into the title tilt. The only loss? A 1-0 setback to Collins-Maxwell on June 25.

“The girls have been talking about wanting them the whole time,” said Clarksville head coach Katie Wedeking. “We’ve talked about a rematch with Collins-Maxwell. I am sure it will be a game like this one — a close game.”

Kori Wedeking tossed a two-hitter for the Indians, who have reeled off 11 straight wins since the loss to Collins-Maxwell. She struck out just two, but didn’t walk any batters.

The Indians recorded 16 groud ball outs and twice wiggled out when Lisbon threatened.

“When I am not pitching well, it’s good to know the defense can do a great job,” said Kori Wedeking. “The defense did a great job. There’s not much more I can ask for.”

Lisbon pushed a runner to second in the fourth inning, but second baseman Chloe Ross made a diving stop on a ground ball to get the last out of the frame.

In the bottom of the seventh, Lisbon’s Peyton Robinson reached third, but the Indians got a ground ball to end the game and leave the tying run 60-feet away.

“This may have been the first game all year where the defense had to work that hard,” said Katie Wedeking. “We just talked about the last two days finding a way to manufacture a run.”

Emma Poppe doubled to start the fifth inning for Clarksville and moved to third on a sacrifice by Ross.

No. 9 hitter Bailey Myers then delivered a solid single to right to plate the game’s only run.

“All postseason, our 7-8-9 hitters have been coming through,” said Katie Wedeking. “That hit was huge.”

Clarksville missed a chance to score in the top of the first when Kori Wedeking belted a two-out triple. But she was stranded there.

Kori Wedeking had two of Clarksville’s five hits.

Lisbon, now 33-7, meets Newell-Fonda in the 1A third-place game Thursday at 5 p.m. on the Iowa Central Field.