Wild week at state softball

Five state champions come from four different seeds

Fairfield’s Destiny Gridley hits a sacrfice fly during the Trojans’ quarterfinal loss to Dallas Center-Grimes. DC-G would go on to take third place in Class 4A. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
Fairfield’s Destiny Gridley hits a sacrfice fly during the Trojans’ quarterfinal loss to Dallas Center-Grimes. DC-G would go on to take third place in Class 4A. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)

FORT DODGE — The 2020 Iowa state softball tournament wrapped up on Friday, and it was a wildly competitive tournament in all five classes. Out of the five state tournaments, the No. 1 seed won just once. Two No. 3 seeds won state titles, as did one No. 2 seed and one No. 7 seed.

The Class 5A state championship was held on Thursday night. Cedar Rapids Kennedy won the tournament as a No. 2 seed, taking out top-seeded Fort Dodge 5-1 in the final.

The first round of the Class 5A tournament saw fifth-seeded Ankeny Centennial and sixth-seeded Muscatine pull upsets, but the top seeds won out in the semifinals. Fort Dodge won 5-3 over Centennial, and Kennedy blasted Muscatine 9-0. In all, Kennedy outscored its state tournament opponents 24-5. Centennial beat Muscatine 10-0 in the third place game.

Class 4A was competitive throughout the week. No. 7 Winterset was crowned champion on Thursday night after defeating No. 1 Carlisle 4-3 in the title game.

Winterset scored a 7-4 upset over No. 2 West Delaware, thet team that knocked Washington out in the regional final, in the first round. They faced sixth-seeded Dallas Center-Grimes in the semifinals after DC-G outlasted Fairfield 7-5 in the opening round.

In the semifinals, Winterset nipped DC-G, 2-1. Carlisle took out four-seed North Scott 8-3 before falling to Winterset in the final.

DC-G bounced back from its semifinal loss with a win in the third place game. The Filies beat North Scott, 8-4, to take the bronze.

In Class 3A, top-ranked Albia own the tournament by defeating No. 3 Williamsburg 1-0 in the tournament final on Saturday. The Blue Demons allowed just one run in the entire state tournament.

Albia started their championship run with a 12-0 beating of Creston in the quarterfinals. They edged out No. 5 Mount Vernon, 2-1, in the semifinals. Williamsburg took down sixth-seeded Algona 3-1 in the quarterfinals and upset No. 2 Assumption 5-4 in the semifinals.

Assumption, who turned heads with a 15-0 win over Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley in the quarterfinals, wound up taking third. The Knights beat Mount Vernon 4-1 in the third place game.

No. 3 Ogden won the Class 2A state championship on Saturday, beating No. 1 North Linn 6-1. Before the final, North Linn looked like a juggernaut, beating eight-seed Ridge View, 10-0, and No. 4 Northeast, 10-1.

Ogden had to fight in all three of their tournament games. They beat No. 6 Mount Ayre, 5-2, in the quarterfinals, and topped No. 2 Louisa-Muscatine, 4-2 in the semifinals.

Louisa-Muscatine, who won the Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division, finished third at state. The Falcons beat No. 7 Underwood in the quarterfinals and led Ogden 2-0 after five innings, but couldn’t advance to the championship game. In the third place contest, L&M crushed Northeast, 8-0.

In the Class 1A championship on Saturday night, third-seeded Clarksville upset No. 1 Collins-Maxwell 2-0, stopping a potential Collins-Maxwell three-peat.

Clarksville had to grind out a 7-6 walk off win over No. 6 Akron-Westfield in the quarterfinals before knocking off No. 7 Lisbon, 4-0, in the semifinals. Collins-Maxwell had defeated eighth-seeded Newman Catholic, 5-2, in the quarterfinals and took out No. 4 Lynnvile-Sully, 7-0, in the semifinals.

Lynnville-Sully, who knocked out New London in the regional finals, wound up taking third place in Class 1A with a 10-0 win over Lisbon.

Health-wise, the 2020 state softball tournament seemed to be a success. There were 40 teams who made the trip to Harlan and Hazel Rodgers Sprots Complex for the state tournament, and none of them had to end their run due to COVID-19 restrictions. Both the state softball and state baseball tournaments went on without incident.