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FORT DODGE — No what-ifs. No should-haves.
The Solon Spartans simply got beat.
“We got beat, and we got beat bad,” said Coach Jim White.
Paige Lowary put a roadblock on Solon’s big-hitting, high-scoring attack, and top-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes hit three solo home runs and repeated as Class 4A state softball champion, 5-0, Friday afternoon at the Rogers Sports Complex.
“There’s no better way to end my high school career,” said Lowary, who yielded just one hit and struck out eight. “I just wanted to pitch my game.”
And Lowary’s game is as good as any these days. The University of Missouri recruit posted a 0.18 ERA this season as the Fillies (41-1) completed their repeat.
“She throws about 15 miles per hour faster than what we saw (Thursday) night, and she’s got good movement,” White said. “We wanted to play this team. And for them to repeat, that’s a great team.”
A team that allowed only 12 runs in 42 games.
Third-rated Solon (39-3) had been extremely potent in the first two rounds, accumulating 22 runs and 29 hits. But the Spartans were no match for Lowary.
“She has a lot of speed, and we weren’t getting on top like we practiced,” said Solon pitcher Emily Ira. “We couldn’t put the ball in play, hard.”
Holly Hinkel had the Spartans’ lone hit, a liner down the right-field line in the third inning. She was the only Solon runner to reach second base, but got into a rundown between second and third to end the Spartans’ only real threat.
The Spartans managed four walks, two by Mallory Madsen.
Ira, Madsen and Taylor Nearad earned all-tournament honors. Predictably and deservedly, Lowary was chosen as captain.
DCG got on the board immediately, with Taylor Draisey singling home Rachel Lowary in the top of the first.
Most of the rest of the Fillies offense was power-oriented. Lexi Rosa (fifth inning), Tabitha Taylor (sixth) and Jackie Peyton (seventh) clubbed solo shots, and none of them were cheapies.
Dallas Center-Grimes was third here in 2011, second in 2012, then won the last two titles.
“They have a great pitcher and they’re a good hitting team,” Ira said. “They just got ahold of a couple.
“We had a really good year. This game shouldn’t define us. But we had so many games that were so much better.”
DALLAS CENTER-GRIMES 5, SOLON 0 (Class 4A State Final)
Dallas Center-Grimes 100 021 1 — 5 8 0
Solon 000 000 0 — 0 1 3
Paige Lowary and Paige Shanno. Emily Ira, Holly Hinkel (7) and Monika Bevans. W — Lowary (21-1). L — Ira (23-2), HR — DCG: Jackie Peyton, Tabitha Taylor, Lexi Rosa.
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