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State Softball

Top seed, lofty goals for Dodgers at state

The balance between confidence and humility is always a fine line to walk in sports — especially for the state’s top-ranked team. Fort Dodge enters this week’s Class 5A tournament at Rogers Park with the belief level of a champion and the attitude of an underdog. The No. 1-seeded ...

50th anniversary at Rogers Park: Please respect each other’s space

The first pitch of the state softball tournament’s 50th anniversary at Rogers Sports Complex is right around the corner. Fittingly, Dodger all-state ace hurler Jalen Adams will throw it when homestanding FDSH opens a week that will be anything but normal with a quarterfinal contest against ...

Home away from home

The Newell-Fonda softball roster is packed with champions. This cast of Mustangs were part of the state’s last girls state title to be handed out in Iowa at the basketball tournament, which wrapped up right before the COVID-19 global pandemic hit. Now, second-seeded Newell-Fonda (18-2 ...

Humboldt inspired by Rogers Park return

HUMBOLDT — Over the past two seasons, the Humboldt softball squad has learned how valuable and precious time can be both on and off the softball diamond. A year ago, the Wildcats were lending their support to teammate Ashlyn Clark, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. This year, ...

Algona is back with bigger goals in mind

ALGONA — The Algona softball team was a bounce here or a break there from shocking the state softball world a year ago. Now the Bulldogs return to the big stage, determined to prove not only that they belong in Fort Dodge — but they’re also a legitimate Class 3A contender. Head coach ...

HERE THEY COME

There have been regional championships in Fort Dodge’s past that sparked emotional celebrations and feelings of both accomplishment and satisfaction. Tuesday’s state-clinching victory over Sioux City North at Rogers Park just left the top-ranked (Class 5A) Dodgers ready for the next ...

DIFFERENT FEEL

The 2020 state softball tournament will be unlike any other as the event’s 50th anniversary is celebrated at the end of the month. Parks and recreation director Lori Branderhorst and her staff continue to diligently prepare Rogers Sports Complex for the tourney, which is scheduled to take ...

Triple crown

For the third consecutive summer, the Class 3A state softball championship trophy will make the 3 1/2-hour trek across Iowa before it takes up permanent residence in Davenport. A little bit of history was made in the process as well. Top-ranked Davenport Assumption (41-2) built a 7-0 lead ...

Tunnel vision

Jim Flaws was emotional long before he got one for his thumb Friday at Rogers Park. Sixty former players formed a tunnel for Flaws and his players as they reached the pass gate prior to the start of the Class 4A state championship game. And in that moment, Flaws knew he was in for a special ...

Restore the roar

West Des Moines Valley’s bark got louder and louder as state softball week progressed. By Friday night, the seventh-seeded Tigers were underdogs no more. Feeling very overlooked and even a little disrespected, Valley used a rare opportunity to sneak under the radar as motivation when the ...

FD, IGHSAU have ‘a true partnership’

Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union executive director Jean Berger knows a championship event isn’t just about the games or the facility. Berger is a firm believer in bringing the personality of a tournament to life through the passion of its people. The Winterset native remains confident ...

DRAMATIC FLAIR

Defending a state championship is a tough task. Carrying a big target and getting everyone’s best shot night in and night out can lead to some tense moments. Top-ranked Collins-Maxwell (28-1 overall) danced through those issues on Thursday night, winning their second straight Class 1A ...

North Linn makes history

The first time was the charm for North Linn. In its maiden voyage at the state softball tournament, the Lynx won the Class 2A championship with a 3-0 shutout over No. 13 Alta-Aurelia on Thursday at Rogers Park. Junior Abby Flanagan shut down the entire tournament, and on Thursday night, she ...

Mustangs place 4th in Class 1A

In her first season as Newell-Fonda head coach, Courtney Darrow couldn’t have been more proud of her softball team. The fourth-ranked Mustangs (38-7 overall) finished fourth in Class 1A, suffering a loss to second-ranked Lisbon (34-7) by a 4-2 count on Thursday night. In her opening act ...

GLASS HALF FULL

The Fort Dodge softball team didn’t want to be playing on Wednesday afternoon, but the Dodgers also didn’t want to let one loss define what had been one of the program’s most successful seasons to date. The second-ranked Dodgers were still reeling less than 20 hours after a heartbreaking ...

Collins-Maxwell storms past Newell-Fonda, into finals

Collins-Maxwell ace Mikayla Houge doesn’t need much offense, but her Spartan teammates gave her plenty of support anyway in the Class 1A semifinal round on Wednesday at Rogers Park. Houge, a junior who has committed to the University of Virginia, tossed a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts as the ...

Clarksville wins thriller

In as classic a state softball game as there could be, Clarksville found its way back to the state championship game with a 1-0 win over Lisbon in the 1A state semifinals at Rogers Park on Wednesday afternoon. The Indians managed to scratch across a run in the top of the fifth inning, then ...

Carlisle prevails on walk-off HR

Kennedy Preston knew has soon as the ball hit the bat that she had sent Carlisle into the Class 4A state championship round. “It hit the center of my bat, and man, it flew,’’ Preston said of her late heroics. With two outs, the top-ranked Tigers trailed No. 6 West Delaware by one run in ...

Up a class, Falcons take 3A shot

Louisa-Muscatine did it in Class 2A last year. Now, the Falcons will look to repeat the feat — this time, in 3A. The second-ranked Falcons (35-4 overall) advanced past No. 4 West Liberty (29-6) on Wednesday in a Class 3A semifinal. It won’t be an easy task for Louisa-Muscatine, as ...

Assumption back in finals

Allie Timmons doesn’t need a lot of run support when she’s in the pitching circle, so an early first inning run seemed insignificant. But for Davenport Assumption, it may have been the most important run of the game this year’s state tournament run for the team so far. That run, plus ...