116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
FORT DODGE — Tough game. Tough postgame.
Sam Klug handcuffed Iowa City High’s explosive offense, limiting the Little Hawks to three hits, and 10th-ranked Ankeny Centennial blanked No. 6 City, 2-0, in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the state softball tournament Tuesday night at the Rogers Sports Complex.
“In the end, we didn’t string enough hits together,” Ayana Lindsey said. “We squared it up some, right to them.”
It was a tough pill to digest for City’s senior nucleus of Lindsey, Ella Cook and Carey Koenig. They lifted the Little Hawks’ program to unprecedented heights — three state-tournament appearances in a four-year span, highlighted by a third-place finish in 2019.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget these five years,” an emotional Cook said. “I got to play with my best friends. If it was going to end, I wanted it to end here.”
Here, at state. Not here, in the quarterfinals. The Little Hawks had title aspirations this season that will go unrealized.
Instead, Centennial (32-9) moves on to face No. 5 Pleasant Valley (34-7) in a 5A semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Cook (17-4), who set a school record for strikeouts in a season, had control issues, walking six in three-plus innings. Two of those free passes came in to score.
“I didn’t have it tonight,” she said. “I don’t know. I just didn’t have it.”
Lindsey entered with two on and no outs in the fourth and shut the Jaguars down the rest of the way. But Klug wouldn’t permit a City comeback.
“She’s a very good pitcher,” Lindsey said. “She moved the ball in the zone.”
City had three baserunners all game — Koenig in the first, Lindsey in the third, Cook in the fourth. All advanced into scoring position, but none scored.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars got a run in the first on Ella Schulz’s sacrifice fly, then another in the third when Lauren Solis tallied on a wild pitch.
City (33-8) will meet Southeast Polk (21-19) in a consolation game at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“After that one’s over, it’s going to be a hard one for all of us,” City Coach Jeff Koenig said. “We came here with some high hopes.”
ANKENY CENTENNIAL 2, IOWA CITY HIGH 0
Class 5A State Quarterfinal, at Fort Dodge
Ankeny Centennial 101 000 0 — 2 2 0
Iowa City High 000 000 0 — 0 3 0
Sam Klug and Ella Schulz. Ella Cook and Carey Koenig. W — Klug (10-5). L — Cook (17-4).