Bishop Garigan 1, AGWSR 0: In 2018, the Bishop Garrigan girls softball team saw its season come to an end at AGWSR against a Cougar team that went on to be the Class 1A state runner-up.
The Bears are a year more experienced, and on Monday in regional final play, they had the opportunity to turn the tables.
Garrigan starting pitcher Amanda Miller entered the game with a gaudy 22-5 record, but she may have turned in the performance of her career as she held the Cougars to just one hit and faced the minimum number of hitters in a 1-0 Golden Bear win that secured a berth in the Class 1A state field.
Miller struck out none and got a tremendous boost from a Golden Bear defense that not only made all of the plays, but they turned a key double play in the bottom of the sixth inning after a bunt single to lead off the inning.
“Our defense has been strong all year,” Miller said. “They’re like my Secret Service.”
Carrinton Hunt became the lone Cougar baserunner in the game but was doubled off of second base after a line drive was snagged by Garrigan first baseman Aubree Altman.
The Golden Bears managed just two hits off of Taryan Barrick, the Cougars’ all-state pitcher.
Barrick’s one mistake came in the first inning when she hit Mackenzie Meister with a pitch.
After Meister stole second, she scored on a solid double to right-center off of the bat of Emma Fogarty.
“The girls came in with confidence,” Golden Bears coach Wendi Meister said. “We built this from ground zero and had been close a couple of times.”
Bishop Garrigan goes into the 1A field as the sixth seed with an overall record of 29-6.
The Golden Bears will face Clarksville (31-1) at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the Iowa Central CC Diamond at the Harlan Rodgers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge.
Central Springs 6, East Sac County 0: The Central Springs softball team flashed its muscle on Monday night against East Sac County in the Class 2A, Region 5 championship. The Panthers hit four solo home runs, and beat the Raiders, 6-0.
The win clinched the Panthers spot at the state tournament, which begins next week in Fort Dodge.
Eighth grader Lizzy Hamand got the scoring started with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth off of Raiders pitcher Kara Wilkins. The next batter, Panthers pitcher Hannah Ausenhus, hit a solo home run that just stayed fair inside the left-field foul pole. Two batters later, Abby Pate reached base with a double, and later scored on a sacrifice fly, to make it a 3-0 game.
The Panthers scored one run in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4-0, and then then got solo home runs from Abigayle Angell and Emme Dietrich to make it a 6-0 game.
Ausenhus went the full seven innings on the mound for Central Springs, striking out seven batters and allowing just two hits. Ausenhus struck out Raiders batter Laryn Sharp to end the game, and the team stormed the mound to celebrate their state tournament berth.
“I’m elated,” Ausenhus said. “My team is the best. We work really hard day in and day out to get down there, now we’re going to go down there and do some business. We’ve been down there the past four years, so we know what it’s like.”
Panthers coach Belinda Nelson said she will give her team a couple of days to celebrate their achievement before turning their next opponent, which the team will find out within the next couple of days. But on this night, as the team stood in the infield, hugging and posing for pictures, it was all about soaking in the moment.
“Five years in a row is quite an accomplishment for these girls,” Nelson said. “They’ve worked hard, and have put the time in, so it’s very, very well-deserved.”
Class 2A, Region 7: North Linn 5, St. Ansgar 3: St. Ansgar rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning but came up just short as the Saints saw their season come to an end in a 5-3 loss to North Linn in Class 2A regional final play on Monday.
St. Ansgar trailed 5-0 going into the final frame.
Class 3A, Region 2: Algona 8, Spirit Lake 3: Algona may have entered its Class 3A regional tournament with a modest 14-10 record, but the Bulldogs got hot at the right time and completed an unlikely run through the Region 2 field with an 8-3 win over Spirit Lake on Monday.
Kameryn Etherington surrendered just five hits and two earned runs as Algona pitching gave up just six runs in the three-game tournament run.
Lillian Etherington had a pair of singles and drove in three for the Bulldogs while Emma Elsbecker doubled and drove in two more.
The key inning for the Bulldogs was when they broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth with a six-run outburst that put the game out of reach.
Algona enters the Class 3A tournament field as the eighth seed.
The Bulldogs will take on top-seeded Davenport Assumption (38-2) at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Harlan Rodgers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge.
Mason City 10, Ankeny Centennial 0 (6) Ankeny Centennial 8, Mason City 0: Harrison Nagel threw just 57 pitches and allowed four hits while striking out three as Mason City rolled to a 10-0 win over Ankeny Centennial in the opener of a prep baseball doubleheader on Monday.
Centennial took the second game 8-0.
Nagel got plenty of offensive support as the Mohawks pounded out 11 hits, including home runs by Avery Mellman and Connor Dalen.
Ben Pederson, a sophomore who has become entrenched as the Mohawks’ third hitter in the order, had two doubles, a single and drove in five.
Dalen drove in three while Mellman drove in two.
“Harrison Nagel was lights out on the mound,” head coach Troy Rood said. “He threw a complete game while only pitching 9 balls out of 57 pitches. We had two huge home runs by Avery Mellman and Connor Dalen. Ben Pederson came up big with 5 RBI’s.”
Mason City moved to 23-14 overall on the season with the split.
Humboldt 7, Algona 5: Algona plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but it was not enough to overcome a four-run deficit as the Bulldogs dropped a 7-5 decision to Humboldt in prep baseball on Monday.
The Bulldogs fell to 10-15 on the season with one regular-season game remaining before they enter Class 3A tournament play on Friday.
Charles City 7, Clinton 5: Charles City scored seven runs over its final three at bats as the Comets came from behind for a 7-5 win over Clinton on Monday.