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FORT DODGE — Solon’s 1-2 punch was a knockout blow to Collins-Maxwell-Baxter’s upset hopes.
Sydney Lawson and Bryn Hanrahan collected three hits apiece and combined for five runs as No. 3 Solon pushed aside No. 14 CMB, 8-5, in a Class 3A quarterfinal at the state softball tournament Wednesday afternoon at the Rogers Sports Complex.
“We feed off each other,” Lawson said. “I want to lead off and get on base, and she can hit me in. It’s a great combination, and we work well together.”
A University of Wisconsin signee, Lawson was a part of Solon’s championship run last year. For Hanrahan, this is a new scene. She transferred from Iowa City High around Christmas.
“I enjoyed playing basketball at City High, so it sucked at the time,” Hanrahan said. “But it’s well worth it now.
“I love it here. The girls are all so nice. There are a lot of jokes.”
Solon (33-9) advances to Thursday’s semifinal opposite No. 2 Davenport Assumption (40-4). The Knights handled Atlantic, 11-3, Wednesday.
First pitch is 11:30 a.m.
“We’ve got to do something we haven’t done in a while — we’ve got to put all three parts of our game together,” Solon Coach Jim White said.
The Spartans jumped in front right away, and Lawson and Hanrahan played a major role.
Lawson led off the game with a single, stole second base, then raced home on Hanrahan’s single. Hanrahan scored when Jess Heick’s fly ball to center field was dropped, then Heick scored on another error for a 3-0 advantage.
CMB (25-9) got within 3-2 on RBI singles from Payge Jurgens and Mikayla Eslinger in the bottom of the first, but the Spartans struck again immediately.
Taylor Ryan started the second-inning rally with an infield single, then stole second. Lawson followed with an RBI single, then it was Hanrahan’s turn — a two-run home run, her first of the season, that made it 6-2.
“I’m happy it went out,” she said. “Good timing.”
The Raiders answered again, pulling within 6-5 on Mikayla Houge’s two-run single in the third inning. But Solon pitcher McKenna Miller (21-4) clamped down from there. CMB had one more threat, getting runners to second and third with two outs in the sixth, before Miller got Abbey Kahler to fly out to right.
“It can be stressful at times, but it’s fun to play intense softball,” Lawson said. “It’s fun to be in the game every pitch.”
Heick homered in the fifth to make it 7-5, then Solon got its final run in the seventh when Lawson singled, then scored on Monika Bevans’ single.
SOLON 8, BAXTER CMB 5
Class 3A State Quarterfinal, at Fort Dodge
Solon 330 010 1 — 8 11 2
CMB 203 000 0 — 5 9 3
McKenna Miller and Monika Bevans. Abbey Kahler, Mikayla Houge (3) and Hannah Caple. W — Miller (21-4). L — Kahler (13-5). HR — SOL: Bryn Hanrahan (1), Jess Heick (7).
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