State softball championships roundup
Johnston (5A), Oskaloosa (4A), Benton (3A), Van Meter (2A), Kee (1A) crowned
A roundup of The Gazette's state softball coverage from Championship Friday.
In a rematch of the 2014 Class 1A championship, the winners of that game took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of this one.
But Kee responded in the bottom half, then took the lead for good on Chloe Severson's RBI double in the fourth.
The Hawks added four insurance runs in the sixth, and as it turns out, they needed them.
In a bizarre ending, Akron-Westfield put two runners on in the seventh with one out. Kee thought it won the game on a double play, getting a force at first, but it failed to tag the runner headed to second. Both scored to make it 7-3 while the Hawks were celebrating.
Jaden Harris legged out an infield single, Danika Tendall walked, then a ground out to second finally wrapped it up.
Bailey Richards had a two-RBI double and allowed just two hits as Van Meter dethroned defending Class 2A champion Iowa City Regina.
The Bulldogs scored all three runs in the third, with Richards' double scoring both Meagan and Mackenzie Blomgren for the breakthrough.
Richards crossed the plate on Casey Jamison's single and held the Regals in check all night.
Regina left six runners on base and struck out eight times.
After last year's runner-up finish, Benton Community has claimed the coveted prize.
The top-ranked Bobcats are state champions for the third time, and first since 1998.
Amber Fiser allowed just one hit and struck out 19, setting a state-tournament record. Her 46 Ks this week ties a tournament record.
Benton (43-2) scored all eight runs with two outs in the third inning. Assumption finishes 41-5.
CLASS 4A, 5A
Johnston and Oskaloosa both walked off with state championships.
Osky trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, then rallied to beat top-ranked Carlisle 6-5.
Pleasant Valley took a 2-1 lead on Johnston in the top of the seventh, but the Dragons came back for a 3-2 victory.
A CIML team has won the state title in Iowa's largest class every year since 2002.