116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
FORT DODGE — In the words of Lindsey Murray, the Linn-Mar Lions leaned too much on thought, too little on instinct.
“We were thinking too much at the plate,” she said. “We were guessing instead of seeing and hitting.”
Maddie Oetzmann yielded just four hits, none after the fourth inning, and fourth-ranked Waukee Northwest handed No. 8 Linn-Mar its first shutout loss of the season, 4-0, in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the state softball tournament Monday afternoon at the Rogers Sports Complex.
The Wolves (33-7), in their first year of operation, advance to Wednesday’s semifinal round, where they will face No. 3 Muscatine (36-4), a 4-0 winner over Pleasant Valley.
Game time is 1 p.m.
“It’s just crazy, our first year together as a team,” Oetzmann said. “We’ve really adjusted and handled adversity.”
Oetzmann (21-2) struck out five and walked one. She retired the final 10 batters she faced.
“I had trust in my defense,” she said. “I did what I did, and if they happened to hit it, the defense had my back.”
The Lions (36-5) did not advance a baserunner beyond second base.
“I think it got in our head, her changeup and riseball,” freshman Emily Koranda said.
Linn-Mar’s best shot came in the top of the fourth. With the Lions trailing 2-0, Grace McCarty and Kaylee Bunn recorded back-to-back two-out singles.
Oetzmann induced a flyout from Megan Heidelbauer to end the threat.
Northwest took the lead in the bottom of the second on an odd play, a two-run sacrifice fly to right field by Ava Smith.
An RBI single by Smith accounted for one fourth-inning run, and another scored on an error.
“They put it in play, and we gave them extra bases,” said Murray, the Lions’ fourth-year coach. “Take those away, and it’s a different game.”
Obleton reached base twice. She led off the game with a walk and stole second before being stranded there. Then she hit a first-pitch single with one out in the third.
“I saw the first good ball she gave me and I went for it,” Obleton said. “(Oetzmann) did a good job mixing her pitches.”
Linn-Mar (36-5) faces No. 10 Pleasant Valley (26-13) in a consolation game at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Waukee Northwest 4, Linn-Mar 0
Class 5A State Quarterfinal, at Fort Dodge
Linn-Mar 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Waukee Northwest 020 200 x — 4 6 1
Jordyn Beck, Emily Koranda (4) and Madi Wells. Maddie Oetzmann and Haley Boyd. W — Oetzmann (21-2). L — Beck (17-3).