116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
FORT DODGE — Three times, the carrot was right there for the Anamosa Raiders.
Each time, Atlantic pulled it away.
Jada Jensen’s RBI single capped a four-run rally in the bottom of the 11th inning, and the sixth-ranked Trojans outlasted No. 7 Anamosa, 10-9, in a Class 3A quarterfinal marathon at the state softball tournament late Monday night at the Rogers Sports Complex.
“It’s such a mental game when it gets this late,” Jensen said. “You’ve got to stay sharp mentally and physically.”
Atlantic (34-5) will face No. 1 Davenport Assumption (38-3) in the semifinal round at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Three times, the Trojans trailed as they entered their last at-bat. Anamosa (32-10) scored to take a 5-4 lead in the seventh, then 6-5 in the ninth.
Both times, Atlantic answered.
Then came Anamosa’s big chance.
Emily Watters doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th, then Lexi Bright delivered a two-run single to make it 9-6.
Ball game, right? The Trojans said no.
“I definitely thought that was the one,” Bright said of her hit. “We kept fighting and battling, but it wasn’t enough.”
The first five Atlantic batters reached in the bottom of the 11th — error, walk, single, walk, then a two-run single by Alyssa Derby tied the game.
The Raiders got a couple of outs before Jensen’s clean single up the middle ended it after 3 hours, 21 minutes and 440 pitches.
Watters (21-7) threw 259 pitches, walking 12 and striking out 16.
“My arm has been hurting for a while,” Watters said. “I’ve been pitching through it, because that’s what my team needs.”
Anamosa is making its first state appearance since 1996. The Raiders will face Clarke (17-12) in a consolation game at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
“This is something I’ve never experienced, and I’m grateful for it,” Watters said.
How can the Raiders bounce back from this?
“It’s a choice,” Bright said. “If we choose to win, it’s something we definitely can do.”
Anamosa Coach Brad Holub said, “We can go out like a lion or a lamb. I hope it’s as lions.”
The Raiders led 1-0 through three innings, then Atlantic scored three times in the fourth for a 3-1 advantage.
Anamosa regained the lead, 4-3 in the fifth, then the Trojans tied it in the sixth.
Mady Meeker’s squeeze bunt put the Raiders back in front in the seventh, then Malena Woodward’s groundout knotted it again, 5-5.
Delaney Frater stole home in the top of the ninth, but Woodward answered again with two outs in the bottom of the frame.
“It was a dogfight,” Holub said. “Back and forth, back and forth. We’d go up one, they’d tie it.
“I thought three would be enough.”
ATLANTIC 10, ANAMOSA 9 (11)
Class 3A State Quarterfinal, at Fort Dodge
Anamosa 100 030 101 03 -- 9 10 4
Atlantic 000 301 101 04 -- 10 7 4
Emily Watters and Lexi Bright. Olivia Engler and Alyssa Derby. W -- Engler (23-5). L -- Watters (21-7).