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Johnston fights off Indianola

Johnston landed the first and the final shots in its Class 5A quarterfinal thriller with Indianola here Tuesday night.

After the fourth-ranked and defending state runner-up Indians went up 2-1 on a Sammie Becker’s solo homer in the sixth inning, the No. 5 Dragons responded, scoring twice to advance with a 3-2 victory at Rogers Park.

Johnston (35-8 overall) will now meet top-ranked Waukee on Wednesday night in the semifinals at 7 p.m.

Chloe Fehn singled in Emma Roethler for the winning run with two outs after Rachael Schlotter plated Halle Van Roekel to tie in earlier in the seventh.

With a runner in scoring position, Schlotter snagged a hard hit ball for the third and final out to end it.

Johnston has qualified for state seven consecutive seasons and has won 19 in a row, including a 9-8 triumph to knock off two-time defending champion Pleasant Valley in the regional finals.

Sophie Maras, Fehn and Roethler all had two hits each, with Iowa Central recruit Abbie Thilges adding one herself.

A year after placing second and graduating all but two starters, the Indians still found themselves in the state’s elite and with a lead heading to the seventh thanks to Becker. The homer was the ninth of the season for the catcher.

Destiny Lewis and Bella Bingaman each had two hits for Indianola (33-5), which had its 22-game win streak come to an end.

JOHNSTON 3, INDIANOLA 2

Johnston 001 000 2 — 3 9 1

Indianola 001 001 0 — 2 6 1

WP–Hannah Hughes (18-5, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 0 BB); LP–Brooke Tucker (3-2, 2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 0 BB); HR–I: Sammie Becker. RBI–J: Sophie Maras, Rachael Schlotter, Chloe Fehn; I: Destiny Lewis, Sammie Becker.