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Family bond carries Ogden to title game

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Ogden celebrates after beating Louisa-Muscatine in the Class 3A semifinals on Wednesday at Rogers Park.

For the past five years, the senior members of the Ogden softball team have stuck together.

On Wednesday afternoon, all the hard work and long hours put in during the summer paid off, as the Bulldogs plated four runs in the sixth to score a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Louisa-Muscatine and reach the Class 2A state title game.

Ogden (21-3 overall) will take on defending champion and unbeaten North Linn (25-0) on Friday at 5 p.m. inside Rogers Park.

“I am so proud of these kids, especially the seniors,” Ogden head coach Mike Moses said. “We have seven of them and you usually don’t get that many sticking through softball season for five years at a 2A school. Kids tend to go and find other things to do, but this group has always stuck together and I am so happy for them.”

Moses has used this group to build a foundation for the program. Now in his 16th season at the school, he has won 244 games and led the Bulldogs to back-to-back state appearances.

Gabby Ross plated two runs in the sixth and Reagan Church drove in another to support University of Iowa signee Denali Loecker, who improved to 15-2 on the year. Loecker, the state’s best power hitter, was walked three times at the plate, striking out four.

The Ogden senior class is now 92-26 overall, with a win in the consolation round last year helping start this current drive.

“They have been determined to get back here and they wanted to go to that championship game,” Moses said. “It feels great, but I am just more proud of the kids than myself. They have worked so hard.

“It would be the perfect climax to their careers for sure (winning a state title).”

Sanders also provided the scoring for the Falcons, driving in two third inning runs and finishing with two hits. McKenna Hohenadel also had two hits and stole two bases.

OGDEN 4, LOUISA-MUSCATINE 2

Ogden 000 004 0 — 4 4 0

L-M 002 000 0 — 2 5 1

WP–Denali Loecker (15-2, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 2 BB); LP–Hailey Sanders (14-3, 7 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 13 K, 6 BB). 2B–O: Gabby Ross; L-M: Hailey Sanders. RBI–O: Reagan Church, Gabby Ross (2); L-M: Hailey Sanders (2). SB–O: Lauren Kennedy; L-M: McKenna Hohenadel (2). LOB–O: 5; L-M: 4.

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