State softball: Area capsules

A closer look at the 7 area teams competing this week

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FORT DODGE — Capsules on area qualifiers for the state softball tournament this week at the Rogers Sports Complex:

 

CLASS 5A

CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE (26-14)

• Coach — Joe Yegge (4th year, 107-56)

• Tournament history — 2nd appearance. Other was in 2013, a sixth-place finish.

• Top hitters — Leadoff hitter Lauren Kuch (jr.) is fourth on the team in batting average at .321, and leads the squad in home runs (10), runs (38) and RBIs (30). Morgan Lewis (soph.) paces the team at .387 with 35 runs, and Neila Bell (sr.) is hitting .369.

• Top pitchers — Natalie Halvorson (jr.) will see most, if not all, of the action in the circle this week. She is 18-8 with a 1.21 ERA. Halvorson has struck out 186 batters and walked 35 in 168 1/3 innings.

• First-round opponent — Hawks face No. 2 West Des Moines Valley (39-3) at 11 a.m. Monday.

 

CLASS 3A

No. 1 BENTON COMMUNITY (40-2)

• CoachEric Stenberg (3rd year, 119-11)

• Tournament history — 15th appearance. State champion in 1966 and 1998. 3A runner-up last year.

• Top hitters — The whole team could be listed here, with all 10 starters hitting .327 or better. Alyssa Wiebel (sr.) is the power threat; she is hitting .542 with 17 home runs, 78 runs and 44 RBIs, all despite being walked 36 times. Shelby Hulsebus (soph.) is hitting .400 with 40 runs, Angie Gorkow (fr., .385) adds seven HRs and 43 RBIs.

• Top pitchers — Amber Fiser (sr.) is as good as anyone in the state. She surpassed the 100-win career plateau earlier this season and is 25-2 with 342 strikeouts and 14 walks in 164 innings. Her ERA is 0.30 with opponents hitting .063 against her.

• First-round opponent — Bobcats face Estherville-Lincoln Central (19-15) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

 

No. 3 SOLON (32-9)

• Coach — Jim White (4th year at Solon, 154-21; 22nd year overall, 963-137)

• Tournament history — 13th appearance, sixth in a row. Defending 3A champion also captured crowns in 2003 and 2007.

• Top hitters — Monika Bevans (sr.) is tops in average at .543 and the chief power threat with 18 doubles, 12 home runs and 74 RBIs. Leadoff hitter Sydney Lawson (sr.) is at .517, 64 runs and 39 steals. Jess Heick (jr.) hits .437 with 50 RBIs; Bryn Hanrahan (jr.) bats .439 with 38 RBIs.

• Top pitchers — McKenna Miller (jr.) sports a 19-4 record with 101 strikeouts and 43 walks in 141 innings. Her ERA is 2.63.

• First-round opponent — Spartans face No. 14 Baxter CMB (25-8) at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

 

No. 5 MOUNT VERNON (29-13)

• Coach — Robin Brand (5th year at Mount Vernon, 125-73; 9th year overall)

• Tournament history — 4th appearance, second in a row. Fifth in 3A last year.

• Top hitters — Libby Ryan (jr.) is an excellent table-setter at the top of the order, hitting .531 with 75 runs, nine triples, and three of the Mustangs’ five home runs. Sammy Moss (fr.) is hitting .486 with 26 doubles and 52 RBIs. Annie See (sr.) is at .386 with 18 doubles.

• Top pitchers — Lily Dahlstrom (sr.) is 22-8 with a 2.85 ERA. She has struck out 92 batters and walked 44 in 184 1/3 innings.

• First-round opponent — Mustangs face No. 11 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (25-7) at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

 

CLASS 2A

No. 7 IOWA CITY REGINA (26-17)

• Coach — Jon Prottsman (9th year at Regina, 226-165; 16th year overall, 418-244)

• Tournament history — 6th appearance. Class 2A champions in 2011 and 2015.

• Top hitters — Kennedy Brown (sr.) leads the attack at .441. She leads the team in runs (35), doubles (13) and home runs (seven). Emma Corkery (jr.) is hitting .348, Katie Bracken (fr.) is at .339 with a team-high 33 RBIs.

• Top pitchers — Sarah Lehman (jr.) is 13-10 with a 1.32 ERA. She has struck out 265 batters and walked 60 in 170 innings. Bracken is 13-7 with a 3.28 ERA.

• First-round opponent — Regals face No. 4 North Union (32-4) at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

 

CLASS 1A

No. 2 LANSING KEE (36-6)

• Coach — Liz Hill (6th year, 116-91)

• Tournament history — 3rd appearance. Class 1A runner-up in 2014.

• Top hitters — Nicki Wood (soph.) leads the team at .452 and has scored 52 runs. The Cooper girls — Kendra (soph.), Courtney (jr.) and Ellie (sr.) are at .426, .403 and .376, respectively. Courtney has eight home runs and 62 RBIs, Kendra has nine homers and 48 RBIs and Ellie has 18 doubles, 48 runs and 42 RBIs.

• Top pitchers — Courtney Cooper is 24-3 with a 0.89 ERA. She has struck out 238 batters and walked 36 in 157 1/3 innings. Kendra Cooper is 12-3 with a 1.01 ERA and 124 strikeouts and 19 walks in 90 1/3 innings.

• First-round opponent — Hawks face Belle Plaine (20-10) at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

 

BELLE PLAINE (20-10)

• Coach — Cathy Cronbaugh (8th year, record NA)

• Tournament history — 1st appearance.

• Top hitters — Morgan Straight (sr.) is batting .509 with 12 doubles and 44 RBIs. Shaylee Dodd (fr.) is at .495 and has scored 46 runs.

• Top pitchers — Grace Parrott (soph.) is 11-6 with a 4.30 ERA. Katie Cubbage (fr.) is 9-3 and 1.87 with 81 strikeouts and 16 walks in 82 1/3 innings.

• First-round opponent — Plainsmen face No. 2 Lansing Kee (36-6) at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

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

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