Humboldt hoping for state encore

HUMBOLDT — The fourth-ranked Humboldt softball team is looking for a return trip to the state softball tournament, but they’ll have to go through a familiar foe to get there.

The Wildcats (29-3 overall) will meet Algona (21-6) in a Class 3A regional final tonight.

First pitch is at 7 p.m.

Humboldt has defeated the Bulldogs in both meetings this season, winning 4-0 and 5-0.

Wildcat sophomore pitcher Ellie Jacobson picked up both victories, throwing a three- and four-hitter. She struck out 15 batters combined in both contests.

In the two contests, Ashlyn Clark was 5-for-5 and Mady Lange was 4-for-7.

Humboldt has won seven straight games and 12 of their last 13 games.

Jacobson (29-1) enters the contest with an ERA of 0.82 and has struck out 226 batters, which is third in Class 3A. She has only given up 21 earned runs. She has pitched 11 shutouts.

Sophomore Carlie Thompson leads the team in hitting at .469, while Lange (.434), senior Rachel Darling (.412), freshman Kendal Clark (.412) and freshman Jori Hajek (.396) are at the top for the Wildcats.

Lange (30) Hajek (29), Thompson (25), Darling (20) and Clark (20) are the RBI leaders.

Hajek has hit eight home runs and the Wildcats have blasted 15. Thompson has scored the most runs for Humboldt (45) and Hajek has crossed the plate 34 times.

Algona senior pitcher Brooke Fonley (14-5) has a 1.81 ERA and has struckout 84 batters.

Leading the Bulldogs at the plate is senior Emma Hjelle (.506), senior Teylor Rindone (.444) and sophomore Kameryn Etherington (.389).

Etherington has 26 RBI, which leads the teams. Fonley leads with three home runs.

Hjelle is the team leader in hits (40), runs (30) and doubles (12).

North Union vs. Newell-Fonda

North Union, who was a Class 2A state qualifier last season, is aiming to earn a 1A bid this season.

The seventh-ranked Warriors (25-4) will face Newell-Fonda (24-13). Action begins at 7 p.m. in Swea City.

The Warriors, who were eighth in 2A last season, beat Storm Lake St. Mary’s (11-1) and Woodbury Central (3-1) to get to tonight’s regional final.

The Mustangs knocked off Trinity Christian (9-1) and River Valley (13-1).

North Union has won seven straight and 17 of their last 18. One of their four losses was a 4-0 setback to Newell-Fonda earlier in the season.

Sophomore Hope Steinberger (.471), junior Rory McClellan (.380) and senior Kate Anderson (.360) led the Warriors in hitting.

Steinberger is the team leader in RBI (21) and hits (48). Senior Bre Anderson is the leader with 30 runs scored.

Kate Anderson paces the Warrior pitching staff with a 23-4 mark. She has a 1.62 ERA and has struck out 220 batters.

Newell-Fonda has won two straight, and seven of their last 10.

Junior Olivia Larsen has thrown 66 innings, while freshman Ella Larsen has went 120-plus. Oliva has a mark of 9-4 and has fanned 44 batters. Ella is 12-7 with 83 strikeouts.

The Larsens are at the top of Newell-Fonda’s hitting charts as well. Ella is batting .440 and leads the Mustangs with 47 RBI. Olivia is hitting .435. She leds N-F with 54 hits and 51 runs. She has stolen 51 of 52 bases.

Newell-Fonda is tied with Janesville in Class 1A with 191 stolen bases, which is second in the state.