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WDM Valley continues late surge

Seventh-seeded Valley may have hit a rough patch heading into the postseason, but once the state title was on the line, the Tigers responded.

Valley (31-10 overall) will look for the seventh state championship in school history and first since 2010 after defeating sixth-ranked Iowa City High (35-8) 4-2 in Wednesday Class 5A semifinal round.

The Tigers will face top-ranked Waukee (40-3) Friday at 8 p.m. on Kruger Seeds Field (Diamond 1) for the Class 5A state crown.

Haley Gatica, a Creighton softball recruit, did it all for the Tigers. Gatica silenced the Little Hawks, allowing only four hits. She struck out three batters and walked one, while giving up only an earned run.

At the plate, she was 3-for-4 with two RBI. She had an RBI-single to play Hailey Etzel in the third and another in the first, scoring Maggie House.

The big blow came from Missouri recruit Alex Honnold, who had a two-run double to score Hannah Fry and Megan Decker for the Tigers who are competing in their seventh straight state appearance and 17th overall.

Etzel had two hits for the Tigers.

Carey Koenig had an RBI-single to score Ella Cook for Iowa City High. Koenig scored the other Hawk run on an error.

The Little Hawks will now face Johnston (35-9) in the Class 5A third place game at 7 p.m. on Iowa Central Field (Diamond 2).

WEST DES MOINES VALLEY 4, IOWA CITY HIGH 2

WDM Valley 101 200 0 — 4 8 2

IC High 100 001 0 — 2 4 1

WP–Haley Gatica (7IP, 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 3SO); LP–Ayana Lindsey (7IP, 8H, 4ER, 5BB, 2SO); LOB–WDM Valley 9, Iowa City High 5; 2B–V: Alex Honnold; ICH: Makayla Ribble; SACB–V: Megan Decker (2); SB–V: Maggie House.