Central Springs takes battle with Logan-Magnolia

When Hannah Ausenhus needed a strikeout, the Central Springs junior reached back and delivered.

Ausenhus got out of a bases loaded situation in the sixth, as the sixth-ranked Panthers earned a 4-0 victory over No. 8 Logan-Magnolia to advance to the Class 2A semifinals here Monday at Rogers Park.

Central Springs (28-3 overall) will face third-rated Louisa-Muscatine on Wednesday at 3 p.m. on Buena Vista University Diamond.

Ausenhus and the Panthers are making their fourth consecutive trip to state, all of which have come with her dominating inside the circle. Earlier this year, she picked up her 100th career win, finishing this one with five strikeouts and just four hits allowed.

“I knew I just had to pitch my best and I knew that I had the best defense behind me,” Ausenhus said. “No matter what, we were going to get out of it and not let them score.”

Central Springs went unbeaten in the Top of Iowa and has won nine in a row since a 4-3 loss to West Lyon. Three of the four losses this year by the Panthers have come by just one round, with the other being a 4-2 defeat to 5A Mason City.

Gracie Ewen ended the scoreless tie with an RBI in the fourth that plated Kaylee Parks. In the sixth, Kirsten Garnas drove in Morgan Kelley with one out, Aricka Oppman came home on a wild pitch and Kessa Fingalsen scored on another out as Central Springs played small park to perfection.

“(Escaping the sixth) gave us a lot of momentum and we were able to come out and score,” Ausenhus said. “Playing here for four years, we didn’t have any nerves and we were just able to play our game.

“It was a lot of fun.”

For Logan-Magnolia (27-7), which is also making its fourth straight appearance at state, they will face Wilton in a consolation contest on Tuesday at 1 p.m. on Dodger Diamond. The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Panthers.

Kylan Straight had two hits, giving her 64 on the year.


Logan-Magnolia 000 000 0 – 0 3 1

Central Springs 000 103 x – 4 4 3

WP-Hannah Ausenhus (28-3, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 1 BB); LP-Abbie Carlson (11-4, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 7 K, 3 BB).

RBI-CS: Gracie Ewen, Kirsten Garnas. 2B-CS: Morgan Kelley.