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Newell-Fonda wins state softball opener; Gehlen Catholic blanked

FORT DODGE, Iowa (KTIV) — Class 1A got the Iowa state softball tournament started. Fourth-seeded Newell-Fonda took on Lynville-Sully, while eighth-seeded Gehlen Catholic looked for an upset over the top seed, Collins-Maxwell.

In the third, Newell-Fonda was up one and looking for more. Emma Stewart’s sacrifice bunt brought in Olivia Larsen from third and it was 2-0. Later in the inning, Maggie Walker’s fly ball was dropped for an error. Two runs come around to score increasing the Mustang lead to 4-0.

Still in the third, Anna Bellcock’s blooper to right that fell in for a hit to bring in Walker as Newell-Fonda advances with a 7-5.

“The girls have been swinging hard all season and their goal is to put as much runs across as we can and then play solid defense behind Ella there.” said head coach Courtney Darrow.

“It feels really good,” said senior Olivia Larsen. “Last year we fell short getting to the next round but this year we sealed the first one and now we’re going to go take care of business Wednesday.”

Gehlen Catholic had the first game of the day against Collins-Maxwell.

The Jays had a runner in scoring position in the first inning, but Katie Peters grounded out to second to end the inning. In the bottom of the first, Emma Kahler gets the Spartans on the board with a sacrifice bunt as Alexis Houge scores from third and it was 1-0 Collins-Maxwell.

Gehlen pitcher Rylee Schnepf kept her squad in it for most of the game but the Spartans added to their lead in the sixth as Hannah Caple drove one into right center field to score two runs and Gehlen Catholic falls to Collins-Maxwell 4-0.

“When we held them to two for a while I still thought we had a shot but then they scratched a couple runs in the bottom of the 6th that was going to make it a tough task after that,” said Head Coach Tony Gunter. “But it was nice for us to at least get the double and send some people to the plate and give it a shot.”

Collins-Maxwell and Newell-Fonda meet in the semifinals on Wednesday at 11:00 AM.

Brad Pautsch

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