Prep Softball

Midseason turnaround has Williamsburg softball clicking

Winners of 18 of their last 20, Raiders host Mid-Prairie in 3A regional opener

The Williamsburg Raiders got healthy. Then they got hot.

“We really did feel like we could have a good team,” second-year coach Adam Berte said. “We had a few injuries at the start of the year, and that slowed us down.”

It has been full speed ahead since midseason, though. Mired at 5-12 as of June 11, the Raiders have won 18 of their last 20, and take a 23-14 mark into their Class 3A regional quarterfinal at home against Mid-Prairie (4-22). First pitch is 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“I think the turning point came in the second game of a doubleheader against Clear Creek Amana (June 4),” Berte said. “I got sent to the dugout early by the umpires, and it kind of lit a fire under the girls.

“I’m a baseball guy and we always used to make fun of the softball teams that did a bunch of cheers and chants from the dugout, but we started coming up with some of that stuff this year, and if it helps the girls, then we’re going to do it.”

The 3A, 2A and 1A postseaon fields will all be at 32 teams — four in each district — at the conclusion of Tuesday. Regionals open in 3A, with 2A and 1A “bye” teams joining the fray.

That includes defending state champions Lansing Kee (1A, 33-5) in Iowa City Regina (2A, 20-15), both of which open at home.

The best area game in 3A figures to be at Manchester, where West Delaware (24-15) hosts Wamac Conference East Division rival Dyersville Beckman (14-17). Those teams split a divisional doubleheader June 11.

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“The divisional race was a lot of fun because anybody could beat anybody,” West Delaware Coach Tiffany Rave said. “I like that because it makes you better. Every loss we took in the Wamac, we learned some stuff.”

Rave said the Hawks’ success this season has been a result of an improved offensive attack.

“We knew our pitching and defense would be pretty solid, and we’ve been able to do a better job of putting the ball in play,” she said.

Solon and Mount Vernon shared the Wamac East championship. The Spartans (26-8) will host South Tama (3-25) Tuesday; the Mustangs (21-17) will entertain Monticello (13-15).

Tuesday's Class 3A regional quarterfinals

All games, 7 p.m.

Region 5

Waukon (11-18) at Waterloo Columbus (35-2)

Oelwein (9-20) at North Fayette Valley (17-10)

Union Community (11-15) at Crestwood (22-9)

Osage (13-17) at New Hampton (21-10)

Region 6

Nevada (9-12) at Eddyville EBF (28-7)

West Marshall (21-8) at Vinton-Shellsburg (14-21), 5:30 p.m.

South Tama (3-25) at Solon (26-8)

Iowa Falls-Alden (11-20) at Benton Community (24-14)

Region 7

Davis County (5-19) at Albia (27-4)

Central Lee (14-12) at West Burlington (16-12)

Columbus Community (5-20) at West Liberty (23-10)

Mid-Prairie (4-22) at Williamsburg (23-14)

Region 8

Northeast (16-12) at Davenport Assumption (33-3)

Dyersville Beckman (14-17) at West Delaware (24-15)

Anamosa (13-16) at Camanche (26-8)

Monticello (13-15) at Mount Vernon (21-17)

Tuesday's Class 2A regional quarterfinals

7 p.m. unless noted otherwise

Region 6

Aplington-Parkersburg (4-15) at Iowa City Regina (20-15)

Denver (9-22) at Wapsie Valley (8-13), 5:30 p.m.

South Winneshiek (14-13) at North Linn (36-4)

MFL MarMac (14-16) at Sumner-Fredericksburg (19-13), 5:30 p.m.

Region 7

Danville (9-18) at Louisa-Muscatine (32-6)

Highland (14-12) at Wapello (22-8)

Grundy Center (12-12) at East Marshall (24-7)

West Branch (10-20) at Conrad BCLUW (19-12)

Region 8

Clayton Ridge (9-20) at Durant (31-2)

Bellevue (13-11) at Alburnett (17-16)

North Cedar (5-21) at Jesup (24-11)

Cascade (13-19) at Wilton (22-15)

Tuesday's Class 1A regional quarterfinals

7 p.m. unless noted otherwise

Region 3

Gladbrook-Reinbeck (2-18) at Clarksville (19-5)

Turkey Valley (13-20) vs. BGM (16-8), at Gilbertville, 5:30 p.m.

North Tama (8-12) at Janesville (23-11)

North Butler (19-10) at Belle Plaine (14-10)

Region 4

Elkader Central (4-29) at Lansing Kee (33-5)

Edgewood-Colesburg (13-20) at Central City (31-10)

Bellevue Marquette (11-19) at Lisbon (30-8)

Springville (14-20) at Calamus-Wheatland (22-7)

Region 5

Tri-County (3-18) at Sigourney (20-6)

Montezuma (13-10) at New London (17-9)

Winfield-Mount Union (11-7) at Lynnville-Sully (18-14)

Lone Tree (11-10) at North Mahaska (19-8)

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

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