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Lisbon ends Newell-Fonda’s season

—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Megan Morenz of Newell-Fonda carries the Mustangs’ state trophy off the field on Tuesday evening at Rogers Park. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

Sometimes, softball is as simple as hitting it where they aren’t.

Second-seeded Newell-Fonda found that out the hard way on Tuesday night in a Class 1A quarterfinal tussle with traditional power Lisbon.

The Mustangs couldn’t muster any offense against freshman left-hander Ryleigh Allgood, who had the upper-hand in a precocious pitcher’s duel with N-F eighth-grader Kierra Jungers. Allgood fired a three-hit shutout, and the Lisbon offense did just enough to post a 3-0 victory on Kruger Seeds Field.

Newell-Fonda (18-3 overall) had a number of hard-hit balls go right to Lion defenders. And while the Mustangs threatened a few times, they were never able to crack the ice or solve the Allgood riddle.

“We just couldn’t get that timely hit when we needed it,” said N-F head coach Courtney (Vaughn) Darrow, a 2008 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate and former Dodger standout player. “Hat’s off to Lisbon. They made the plays and earned that win. They were the better team (last night).

“We’re just thankful we even had a season. To finish in the Top-8 (in 1A) is something these girls should be very proud of. Not many programs get to play their last game in Fort Dodge. We’re disappointed, but we’re not going to lose perspective or forget how much we accomplished.”

The Lions (21-3), who were only seeded seventh despite being at state for the third consecutive season under legendary head coach Bob Bunting, scratched across a run against Jungers in the second and manufactured a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Jungers (10-3) was impressive in her state tourney debut, allowing only six hits and one earned run.

“Kierra puts a ton of time into her offseason work,” Darrow said. “She’s very calm and collected — especially for her age (as an eighth-grader). Doesn’t get rattled. It was great for her to have this experience, which should boost her confidence and motivate her in the years to come.

“She wants the ball on this stage.”

Ella Larsen, Mia Walker and McKenna Sievers had hits for Newell-Fonda, which made state for the 12th time in the last 16 years. Larsen’s was a double.

The Mustangs reached the state semifinals here a year ago.

Darrow thanked her two seniors — Megan Morenz and the injured Kylie Robinson — for their “terrific leadership.” Morenz was a versatile five-year starter that “I could play basically everywhere on the field, Darrow said.

“We’re going to miss their work ethic,” Darrow added. “We’re a relatively young group overall, so it’s good to get them this experience and the future looks bright. But it’s always tough to lose your seniors, especially when you have (athletes) who do the right things for the right reasons.”

Darrow called 2020 “a season to remember.”

“From dealing with the uncertainty from COVID to being over eight months pregnant (at the end of the year), it’s been interesting to say the least,” said Darrow — the daughter of Fort Dodge’s Ted and Kim Vaughn — who is due on Aug. 23. “It’s tough to have it end like this, but it’s been a lot of fun and we’ll keep pushing forward as a program.”

The Lions now take on Clarksville (17-1) — a 7-6 winner over Akron-Westfield on Tuesday night — in a 1A semifinal Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on Iowa Central Field.

LISBON 3, NEWELL-FONDA 0

Lisbon 010 000 2 — 3 6 1

Newell-Fonda 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

WP–Ryleigh Allgood (18-2; 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K); LP–Kierra Jungers (10-3; 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). 2B–N-F: Ella Larsen. SB–N-F: Mia Walker; L: Paige Roos, Isabel Bartek.

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