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SEVENTH HEAVEN

Seventh-seeded Winterset wins 4A championship

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Winterset celebrates its Class 4A state championship on Thursday night at Rogers Park. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

Tenth-ranked Winterset entered the Class 4A state tournament field as the No. 7 seed on Monday, but walked out of Rogers Park as champions Thursday night.

And they beat a long time rival to cap the improbable run to the top, too.

An RBI single to center by Lauren Carter in the top of the 11th inning gave Winterset the lead for good, and sophomore pitcher Thea Banning did the rest in the bottom of frame to give the Huskies a 4-3 victory over Raccoon River Conference rival and top-ranked Carlisle inside the Rogers Sports Complex.

Winterset (17-7) beat second-ranked West Delaware and eighth-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes to reach the championship stage, and toppling the defending state champion Wildcats (20-4) on Kruger Field was simply the cherry on top of the sundae.

“It’s weird and I don’t think it’s settled in yet, but it’s exciting,” Banning, who was named the captain of the all-tournament team, said after she went all 11 innings in the circle to secure the win. “As a team we knew we could do this, but we wanted to prove to everyone that we could do it.”

It’s the third state title for Winterset and head coach Steve Corkrean. The Huskies also claimed crowns in 2008 and 2017.

“We were just really happy to get to state and that was the goal,” he said. “The way it’s always worked out in the past is the hard part is getting to state. But once you’re here it’s usually wide open.

“Us and Carlisle have always had battles and they kind of had their way with us earlier in the season, so it was fun to get back at them a little bit.”

The nail-biter contest featured 26 hits — 14 for Carlisle and 12 for Winterset — but also 26 runners stranded on base. The Huskies had three doubles, while all of the Wildcats’ knocks were singles.

Winterset took a 2-0 lead in its first at bat courtesy of an RBI ground out by Bridget Stover and RBI single to right by Carter. Carlisle chopped the deficit in half on a Meredith Hoffman single in the bottom.

It was 2-2 in the seventh when Aa Lowden roped an RBI double down the line in left to give Winterset a 3-2 lead, and the Huskies were one strike away from celebrating in the bottom when Reagan Roling came through with a RBI single to right to force extra innings.But Winterset refused to crumble.

“We were up almost the whole game,” Banning said. “We knew they still had to score to win and it was a battle. We’re both good teams and we both wanted it. It was back and forth the whole way.”

Carter was the star; she went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Banning finished 3-for-5, while Jena Young and Natalie Drake had two hits each.Hoffman and Delaney Schnathorst both laced three hits for Carlisle, which was denied its sixth team title in school history. Kennedy Preston, Molly Hoekstra and Lexxi Link all had two hits.

Winterset 4, CARLISLE 3

Wint. 200 000 100 01 — 4 12 4

Carlisle100 001 100 00 — 3 14 1

  Thea Banning and Bridget Stover. Molly Hoekstra, Lexxi Link (2) and Kennedy Preston. Multiple hits–WINT: Lauren Carter (4), Banning (3), Jena Young, Natalie Drake; CAR: Meredith Hoffman (3), Delaney Schnathorst (3), Preston, Link, Hoekstra. 2B–WINT: Carter (2), Lowden. RBI–WINT: Carter (2), Lowden, Stover; CAR: Hoffman, Hoekstra, Reagan Roling.

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