116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
FORT DODGE — For the Lisbon Lions, Thursday’s Class 1A state championship contest evolved into a game of inches and ifs.
“In the field we just missed some outstanding tries for the ball,” Coach Bob Bunting said. “We hit four hard shots to left field. If those are gappers, it’s a completely different game.”
Instead, it was a 4-1 decision for top-ranked Newell-Fonda at the Rogers Sports Complex.
“We were so close on some of those plays,” outfielder Kali Nelson said. “They didn’t go our way today. Someday, they will.”
Fourth-rated Lisbon (37-9) has gotten here four years in a row, finishing third, third, fourth and second.
“We wanted to make our community proud,” Nelson said. “This was a big accomplishment, even though it didn’t finish the way we wanted.
“But we’ll be back.”
Newell-Fonda pitcher Kierra Jungers was the all-tournament captain after limiting the Lions to three hits, none after the fourth inning.
“She had a good riseball,” Lisbon’s Peyton Robinson said. “A lot of girls couldn’t see it very well. It happens.”
Long a small-school basketball giant, the Mustangs (38-4) cashed in on their 14th softball appearance for their second title in this sport. The other was in 2008.
“Being at state every year, I think it takes a lot of the pressure,” Newell-Fonda’s Bailey Sievers said. “It gave us the ability to stay calm.”
The Mustangs broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fourth, when two loopers to the Lisbon outfield barely evaded diving attempts by the Lions’ outfielders.
The first was by Sophie Stewart, a single that put runners at first and second with one out. The second came by No. 9 Mia Walker, a two-run double that put Newell-Fonda ahead to stay, 3-1.
Mary Walker’s RBI single in the fifth provided an insurance run.
Newell-Fonda scored an unearned run in the first inning, then the Lions briefly tied it, 1-1, in the top of the fourth.
Mia Petersen walked, moved to second on Ella Clark’s sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on Ryleigh Allgood’s groundout and scored on Nelson’s infield single.
Nelson, Robinson and Allgood represented Lisbon on the all-tournament team. All three are sophomores.
“We lose three seniors, and they’re going to be missed,” Robinson said. “But we’ve still got our pitcher, we’ve still got a lot of players coming back and we’ve still got Bunting.”
NEWELL-FONDA 4, LISBON 1
Class 1A State Championship, at Fort Dodge
Lisbon 000 100 0 — 1 3 2
Newell-Fonda 100 210 x — 4 8 0
Ryleigh Allgood and Taylor Techau. Kierra Jungers and Maggie Walker. W — Jungers (29-3). L — Allgood (29-5).