Regina closing in on 2A title repeat

State softball: Regals' Corkery making up for lost time

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FORT DODGE — While her teammates won and celebrated a state championship last year, Emma Corkery had to sit and watch.

And wait.

“It was hard,” she said. “Getting back here, it means a lot.”

Iowa City Regina has advanced back to the Class 2A state softball finals, and Corkery — a junior outfielder — is playing a much more active role.

She collected a pair of hits, scored the first run and drove in another as seventh-ranked Regina handled No. 3 Logan-Magnolia, 7-0, Thursday evening at the Rogers Sports Complex.

The Regals (28-17) pursue a championship repeat at 7:09 Friday night (IPTV); they’ll face No. 6 Van Meter (32-7), a 2-0 winner over Conrad BCLUW.

Corkery suffered an ankle injury during soccer last year. She only managed to play two softball games.

“It’s a big deal for me to come back here,” she said.

Regina took the lead only three batters into the game. Corkery led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by April Grostic, advanced to third on an illegal pitch by Logan-Magnolia’s Abby Straight, then raced home on Kennedy Brown’s groundout.

Seven different Regals scored a run, and three knocked in a run apiece. Most of the rest of Regina’s offense came with assistance; Logan-Magnolia (33-3) committed four errors, costing the Panthers three unearned runs.

Sarah Lehman reached on an error in the first inning, shortly after Corkery scored. Her pinch-runner, Carrigan O’Connor advanced (and ultimately scored) on three different wild pitches.

Regina broke it open with two runs (both unearned) in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth. Corkery hit an RBI double to make it 4-0, then Katie Bracken added an RBI double in the following inning.

Lehman, the Regals pitcher, was unfazed by a multitude of traffic on the bases. She allowed 12 baserunners — four hits, four walks, two fielder’s choices, two hit batters — but was able to bear down and blank the Panthers.

“I knew they were looking at the other pitcher’s feet (for illegal-pitch purposes), so I was just trying to keep mine down,” said Lehman, who improved to 15-10.

“Actually, I’m kind of surprised we made it back. But everybody really wants it.”

And probably nobody wants it worse than Corkery, who is 5-for-8 this week.

IOWA CITY REGINA 7, LOGAN-MAGNOLIA 0

Class 2A State Semifinal, at Fort Dodge

Logan-Magnolia 000 000 0 — 0 4 4

Iowa City Regina 200 230 x — 7 6 0

Abby Straight and Dani Gochenour. Sarah Lehman and Maeve Dunne. W — Lehman (15-10). L — Straight (30-3).

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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