-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Iowa City Regina celebrate beating Van Meter during 2A championship on Friday at Rogers Park in Fort Dodge

Iowa City Regina’s softball senior class is just four deep, but they more than made a huge impact on the program.

The Regals defended their Class 2A title here Friday night at Rogers Park, besting Van Meter, 6-2.

Seniors Ashley Webb, Courtney Kessler, Dani Laughlin and Jillian Panther all played critical roles in not only this victory but the continued growth of the program on a statewide level. They have also all signed to play softball at the collegiate level.

“These girls have just incredible softball IQ,” Iowa City Regina head coach Angela Kessler said. “Honestly, as the coach, they make things so much easier on me. Courtney is always leading the infield and Dani the outfield. The girls listen to them and they both understand what every single player should be doing.”

Panther drove in two runs, going 2-for-3, while Kessler had an RBI-single. Laughlin scored a run and Webb had a single while earning the win inside the circle with six strikeouts.

Iowa City Regina, at state for the eighth time in the last 11 years, has now won five titles all-time. Webb was the all-tournament team captain with Kessler, Laughlin and Gabby Sueppel joining her.

“I am so proud of the success we have had,” Kessler said. “It means something to those girls back in 2016 that we avenged this loss. But honestly, what every single kid should be is a good teammate. That is first and foremost, and all of these seniors are great teammates.

“You want that from every kid no matter the sport. And if they do that, anything that follows is just extra great.”

Van Meter was looking for its second state title after besting Iowa City Regina for gold back in 2016. The Bulldogs also qualified last year for the elite eight and had Maddie Waldorf, Beth Button, Macy Blomgren and Lauren Wallace on the all-tournament team.

The Regal coaching staff includes former Fort Dodge Senior High standout Tristin Doster.


Van Meter 100 100 0 — 2 6 1

Iowa City Regina 006 000 x — 6 9 3

WP–Ashley Webb (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K). LP–Macy Blomgren (6 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K).

2B–VM: Beth Button; ICR: Gabby Sueppel, Avery Kies, Jillian Panther.

RBI–VM: Halle Karaidos; ICR: Courtney Kessler, Kennedy Conner, Morgan Gahan, Jillian Panther (2), Alli Clark.


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