Prep Softball

Iowa high school softball preseason rankings: North Linn is No. 1 in Class 2A

Fort Dodge, Carlisle, Davenport Assumption, Collins-Maxwell are the other top teams; area is full of 3A challengers

Teammates gather around pitcher North Linn's Abby Flanagan as they celebrate their Class 2A semifinal win over Mount Ayr
Teammates gather around pitcher North Linn’s Abby Flanagan as they celebrate their Class 2A semifinal win over Mount Ayr at the 2019 state softball tournament. The Lynx went on to win the championship, and open the new season ranked No. 1. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

They are defending state champions. Their roster returns, nearly intact.

As a result, the North Linn Lynx will begin an abbreviated 2020 softball season ranked No. 1 in Class 2A.

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released its preseason state ratings Monday, and the Lynx are one of four defending champions to open on top of their respective classes.

North Linn went 42-4 last season, capping its first state-tournament appearance with three dominant games at Fort Dodge. The Lynx outscored their state opposition by a 17-1 margin.

Nine of 10 starters are back, led by the all-state senior battery of Abby Flanagan (29-2) and Grace Flanagan. The Lynx hit .373 as a team and averaged 9.1 runs per game.

Carlisle (4A), Davenport Assumption (3A) and Collins-Maxwell (1A) also are defending champions that will start 2020 on top of their classes.

Fort Dodge (35-7) gets the nod in 5A after finishing fifth last year. The Dodgers bring back eight starters, including their entire pitching staff. Iowa City High is No. 2 after a third-place finish and is followed by Johnston, Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Ottumwa. Defending champ West Des Moines Valley is No. 7.

Carlisle (38-3) closed 2019 with 15 straight wins and brings back pitcher Molly Hoekstra (33-1) for her senior season. The Wildcats are followed in 4A by North Scott, Ballard, Oskaloosa and Adel ADM.

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Assumption (41-2) begins pursuit of a fourth straight 3A title, and the class has a strong Eastern Iowa slant to it. After No. 2 Humboldt, area schools Williamsburg, Anamosa and Mount Vernon round out the top five.

North Linn’s toughest challenger is 2A figures to be Louisa-Muscatine, which drops down a class after finishing second in 3A last year. Mount Ayr, Ogden and West Sioux are third through fifth.

Since its athletics split with Baxter, Collins-Maxwell (28-1) has been the top small-school program, winning the last two 1A titles. The Spartans are favored again behind senior pitcher Mikayla Houge and are followed by Newell-Fonda, Clarksville, Wayne and Algona Garrigan.

Softball practice began Monday, and competition opens June 15. The state tournament is July 27-31.

Class 5A

1. Fort Dodge 35-7

2. Iowa City High 36-8

3. Johnston 35-10

4. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 37-4

5. Ottumwa 33-9

6. Waukee 40-4

7. West Des Moines Valley 32-10

8. Pleasant Valley 27-13

9. Indianola 34-5

10. Dubuque Hempstead 32-8

11. Ankeny Centennial 26-12

12. Muscatine 31-8

13. Cedar Rapids Prairie 29-12

14. Southeast Polk 24-17

15. Bettendorf 22-15

 

Class 4A

1. Carlisle 38-3

2. North Scott 28-15

3. Ballard 26-10

4. Oskaloosa 25-16

5. Adel ADM 28-7

6. Charles City 37-4

7. Dallas Center-Grimes 25-15

8. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 27-7

9. West Delaware 31-12

10. Decorah 18-12

11. Fairfield 22-19

12. Washington 22-15

13. Winterset 19-15

14. Webster City 21-7

15. DeWitt Central 18-5

 

Class 3A

1. Davenport Assumption 41-2

2. Humboldt 28-3

3. Williamsburg 31-12

4. Anamosa 31-5

5. Mount Vernon 27-13

6. Albia 27-6

7. Spirit Lake 22-7

8. West Liberty 30-6

9. North Polk 22-11

10. Algona 18-11

11. Eddyville EBF 24-11

12. Atlantic 27-9

13. West Burlington 25-12

14. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 22-9

15. Sioux City Heelan 16-14

 

Class 2A

1. North Linn 42-4

2. Louisa-Muscatine 35-5

3. Mount Ayr 27-3

4. Ogden 26-8

5. West Sioux 24-8

6. Jesup 30-10

7. Central Springs 28-9

8. West Monona 30-6

9. Earlham 29-9

10. Dyersville Beckman 30-14

11. Emmetsburg 23-10

12. Interstate 35 18-11

13. Northeast 20-14

14. Pleasantville 25-12

15. West Lyon 20-8

 

Class 1A

1. Collins-Maxwell 28-1

2. Newell-Fonda 38-7

3. Clarksville 33-2

4. Wayne 24-9

5. Algona Garrigan 29-8

6. Lynnville-Sully 27-9

7. Mason City Newman 21-14

8. North Mahaska 18-10

9. Ackley AGWSR 20-7

10. Central City 31-11

11. Le Mars Gehlen 21-13

12. Akron-Westfield 21-13

13. Grand View Christian 20-10

14. Lisbon 34-7

15. Lenox 26-7

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

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