Assumption does it again
Ron Ferrill knew he needed to make a change.
Not that senior pitcher Hannah Kelley wasn’t throwing well. Ferrill just felt a switch in momentum would help his top-ranked Davenport Assumption team get on track for good.
So the head coach turned to a familiar name on the bench. Fast forward 45 minutes, and the Knights (39-3-1 overall) were celebrating back-to-back Class 3A state championships with a 4-2 victory over sixth-seeded Roland-Story (30-5).
“This group has worked so hard,” Ferrill said. “There are a lot of emotions in this game, and I’m so proud of this group of kids.”
Junior Alli Timmons, the younger sister of Drake freshman pitcher and former Assumption all-stater Nicole Timmons, relieved Kelley in the fourth inning when the Knights trailed 2-0.
Kelley had only given up four hits and both earned runs, but the Norse had eight baserunners in her time of work.
“We always try to keep high energy in the dugout,” Kelley said. “Once we started hitting in the fourth, it got contagious and everyone was starting to feel it.”
Timmons (17-2) came in and gave up a double to senior Jessica Hovick, but then put away the next seven batters. She gave up a single to Julia Clark to start the seventh, then recorded three straight outs.
Timmons faced 15 batters, with only three reaching base. She had no walks and four strikeouts in four innings of work to earn her first state tournament win for the Knights, who were in the finals for the third consecutive year.
“She Timmons did a great job,” Ferrill said. “Hannah had a good appearance, but I felt we needed to change the momentum.”
Before the contest, Nicole Timmons — the 2017 all-tournament captain after striking out 20 batters in last year’s final — was honored with the Jack North Award. Alli saw her first state tournament action in the 2016 championship. She pitched 7ª innings in this year’s visit to Rogers Park, with 11 strikeouts.
“It feels awesome (to win the state title),” Timmons said. “That losing feeling (from 2016) was the worst. Once we hit in the fourth, the game started to switch sides.
“Winning a state championship is an unbelievable feeling.”
The Knights plated all four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Anna Wohlers had an RBI double, and sophomore Carlie Sammon plated two runs with a double. Sammon then scored on sacrifice from junior Nicole Yoder. Yoder also had an RBI for the Knights.
“We’ve had a lot of pressure (repeating) and have had a target on our back,” Wohlers said. “We did a great job of fighting.
“We were able to repeat with hardwork and Alli did a great job of pitching.”
Roland-Story had a strong first inning as the first five batters reached without a hit and senior Jenna Clark scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Holmgren, who is senior. Holmgren then added an RBI-single in the third to plate eighth-grader Madison Geise.
Holmgren (18-4), a DePaul University recruit, suffered her fourth loss of the season. She allowed four hits, walked none and fan five. She drove in two runs.
Hovick and sophomore Julian Clark both had two hits for the Norse, who were making their 20th trip to the state tournament. Roland-Story has won seven state championships, the first in 1959 and the last in 1981 fall state tournament.
DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION 4,
Roland-Story 101 000 0 — 2 6 2
Davenport Assumption 000 400 x — 4 4 1
LP–Riley Holmgren (18-4, 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO); Hannah Kelley (3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO), WP–Alli Timmons (17-2, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO).
LOB–Roland-Story 7, Davenport Assumption 2. 2B–R-S: Jessica Hovick; DA: Carlie Sammon, Anna Wohers. SAC–R-S: Susie Weaver, Allisyn Coghlan (2), Jenna Clark; DA: Oliva Wardlow, Lea Nelson, Nicole Yoder; SB–R-S: Jenna Clark; DA: Lea Nelson; Multiple hits–R-S: Jessica Hovick (2), Juliann Clark (2). RBI–R-S: Riley Holmgren (2); DA: Carlie Sammon (2), Anna Wohlers, Nicole Yoder; Runs–R-S: Jenna Clark, Madison Geise; DA: Lea Nelson, Hannah Kelley, Maddie Loken, Eryn Ackerman.