SPORTS

Akron-Westfield ends Kee's run

Softball: Hawks lead after 3 innings, but Westerners answer in a big way

Kee’s Kaylee Darling (11) tags out Akron-Westfield’s Katie Johnson (34) during their Class 1A championship game at the state softball tourament Friday. Akron-Westfield won, 12-1. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
Kee’s Kaylee Darling (11) tags out Akron-Westfield’s Katie Johnson (34) during their Class 1A championship game at the state softball tourament Friday. Akron-Westfield won, 12-1. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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)

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@sourcemedia.net

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