MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
Now is the time to turn up the defense.
The top-ranked Saints s ... »
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FORT DODGE — Her team was nursing a tenuous lead. And suddenly, Kendall Streigle was nursing a sore ankle.
“I hit a hard spot, and my whole (left) ankle gave out,” Streigle said of a third-inning tumble in the pitching circle.
“I told my mom (Coach Shelly Streigle), ‘I don’t know how much longer I can go.’”
She went the distance. And the Savages notched their second stunner in a row.
Unranked Sigourney knocked off a softball Goliath, leading from start to finish and taking down No. 2 Akron-Westfield, 7-3, in a Class 1A quarterfinal at the state softball tournament Monday afternoon at the Rogers Sports Complex.
“We try to come into every game like it’s just another conference game,” said shortstop and speedster Autum Barthelman.
But this wasn’t just anybody that the Savages (23-11) conquered. Akron-Westfield has made 13 state appearances in the last 15 years, winning six titles in that span.
The Westerners (35-3) came into the tournament with 17 consecutive wins. But the Savages were the superior team Monday.
Sigourney jumped in front with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. The moment of truth came in the third.
Akron-Westfield rallied within 3-2 and was shooting for more when Streigle took her spill. She was down for a couple minutes, got up gingerly, then eventually retired the side with no further damage.
“I was just thinking one pitch at a time,” Streigle said. “We came in here with no fear.”
Why not? The Savages got here with a regional-final upset over No. 3 Martensdale-St. Marys. Next up is a semifinal date with No. 6 Clarksville (28-2) at 7:30 Thursday night. The Indians edged Belle Plaine, 9-8.
The Barthelman sisters — Autum and Summer — are big-stage veterans now. They led Sigourney to a state track and field championship in May. They both had hits in the Savages’ first-inning uprising, and combined for five hits — three from Summer.
Sigourney reclaimed control for good with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Megan Stuhr scored on an error, then Autum Barthelman and Madi Schauf rapped RBI singles.
Schauf scored on a wild pitch in the sixth for the Savages’ final run.
Akron-Westfield (35-3) will face Belle Plaine (23-7) in the consolation semifinals at 9:30 Tuesday morning.
SIGOURNEY 7, AKRON-WESTFIELD 3
Class 1A State Quarterfinal, at Fort Dodge
Akron-Westfield 002 010 0 — 3 9 3
Sigourney 300 301 x — 7 11 3
Ann Hedlund, Bailey Davis (5) and Danika Smith. Kendall Streigle and Leah Carter. W — Streigel (20-5). L — Hedlund (18-2).
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