CEDAR RAPIDS - The Cedar Rapids Titans and Sioux Falls Storm have met in the conference title game in each of the past four seasons.
If the Titans have any hope to make it five, they will need to dig out of an ever-increasing hole.
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FORT DODGE — Don’t look at 12-1. Look at the big picture.
“In two years, we went from absolutely nothing to something,” said Lansing Kee senior catcher Ellie Heiderscheit.
And four innings away from everything.
Top-ranked Akron-Westfield captured its second straight Class 1A state championship and its 53rd consecutive victory, a 12-1 triumph over Kee Friday morning at the Rogers Sports Complex.
The Westerners completed a 38-0 season, banging out 16 hits. Kortney Hedlund swatted three hits and drove in three runs.
“They hit it hard,” Heiderscheit said. “Good for them.”
Kee High finished 34-10. It was a disappointing ending of a remarkable feel-good story.
The Hawks were 0-25 in 2012, then 15-14 last year.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” said Kaylee Darling, another senior. “I wouldn’t take any of it back at all.”
Kee held a 1-0 lead through three innings. Ellie Cooper drove home pinch-runner Annie Dilbert on a ground ball in the bottom of the third.
But the Westerners answered emphatically and decisively and claimed their sixth title, their fourth in the last five years.
Akron-Westfield scored four runs in the fourth, one in the fifth, three in the sixth and four in the seventh.
Katie Johnson was 4-for-5.
“They played well. They made adjustments, and we didn’t,” said Kee Coach Elizabeth Hill. “Things fell their way.
“The girls believed the whole time they could do it. I’d take this team against them tomorrow if I could.”
Heiderscheit, Ellie Cooper and Kendra Cooper were named to the all-tournament team.
AKRON-WESTFIELD 12, LANSING KEE 1 (Class 1A State Final)
Akron-Westfield 000 413 4 — 12 16 4
Lansing Kee 001 000 0 — 1 4 4
Kayla Tindall and Ann Hedlund. Kendra Cooper, Courtney Cooper and Ellie Heiderscheit. W — Tindall (24-0). L — K.Cooper (22-5)
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