Prep Softball

Iowa City Regina poised for a big postseason after another rough regular-season schedule

Though 18-17, Regals are a major threat to reach their fifth straight state tournament

Iowa City Regina pitcher Katie Bracken runs to catcher Maeve Dunne as they celebrate the Regals' Class 2A regional-final win over North Linn last year. The Regals begin pursuit of a fifth straight state-tournament berth Wednesday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa City Regina pitcher Katie Bracken runs to catcher Maeve Dunne as they celebrate the Regals' Class 2A regional-final win over North Linn last year. The Regals begin pursuit of a fifth straight state-tournament berth Wednesday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Here’s a typical Iowa City Regina softball season: In June, an ambitious schedule takes a toll on the Regals’ win-loss record. In July, though, it’s all worth it.

Seventh-ranked Regina (18-17) begins pursuit of a fifth consecutive state tournament Wednesday, when it hosts West Branch (17-17) in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal. First pitch is 7 p.m.

True, the Regals’ record is nothing special. But by now, you know that standing behind that record is a quality club that will be a very difficult out in the postseason.

“We scheduled hard,” Regina Coach Jake Koolbeck said. “We took a few more losses than we’d like, but we hope it pays off.”

The formula is tried and true. Regina has been to the 2A state finals each of the last four years, winning championships in 2015 and 2017.

When they weren’t facing a rugged River Valley Conference slate (they finished third in the South Division), the Regals were “playing up” on the weekends. They played 14 games against 4A and 5A teams, winning four.

It’s all 2A competition now, though, and the Regals are 9-1 this season against 2A foes, including 8-1 and 2-1 wins over West Branch on June 27.

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Regina is one of 11 area ranked teams in action Wednesday in 3A, 2A and 1A quarterfinals. That list includes 2A top-rated North Linn (36-4), which hosts Aplington-Parkersburg (7-19).

The Lynx are one of three teams in the area that rank in the top five in the state (all classes) in runs scored, joining 2A No. 3 Jesup (28-9) and Central City (30-10).

Jesup opens at home against South Hardin (4-19); Central City faces Tri-Rivers rival Springville (18-21). The Wildcats have hit the 30-win mark for the third consecutive year, but are still seeking their first state trip since 1961.

The third-place state finisher in 1A last year, No. 2 Lisbon (29-6) begins its postseason voyage at home against Easton Valley (8-27).

Eastern Iowa is stacked with talent in 3A, with five Gazette-area teams ranked in the top 15, led by River Valley Conference divisional champions West Liberty (No. 4, 25-5) and Anamosa (No. 8, 29-4), who will meet in a regional final Monday if they both advance that far.

Wednesday's 3A regional quarterfinals

All games 7 p.m.

Region 1

Columbus Community (4-19) at Davenport Assumption (33-2)

Center Point-Urbana (7-30) at Monticello (13-22)

Tipton (5-28) at Camanche (30-7)

Davis County (10-16) at West Burlington (23-10)

Region 3

Central Lee (9-17) at Louisa-Muscatine (30-4)

Monroe PCM (9-18) at Centerville (14-14)

South Tama (6-29) at Williamsburg (29-11)

Chariton (3-19) at Eddyville EBF (23-10)

Region 5

Mid-Prairie (9-20) at Solon (21-15)

Benton Community (14-22) at Roland-Story (10-14)

Nevada (7-20) at Mount Vernon (24-11)

Greene County (9-17) at West Marshall (13-17)

Region 6

Vinton-Shellsburg (11-27) at West Liberty (25-5)

Union Community (6-18) at North Fayette Valley (21-12)

Oelwein (5-23) at Anamosa (29-4)

Waukon (14-18) at Crestwood (21-13)

 

Wednesday's 2A regional quarterfinals

7 p.m. unless otherwise noted

Region 1

South Hardin (4-19) at Jesup (28-9)

Madrid (12-15) at South Hamilton (18-9)

Belmond-Klemme (11-12) at East Marshall (28-4)

Nodaway Valley (11-16) at Colfax-Mingo (21-7)

Region 6

Maquoketa Valley (17-22) at Durant (27-6)

MFL MarMac (14-15) at Alburnett (17-17)

North Cedar (7-16) at Dyersville Beckman (26-13)

Cascade (15-15) at Northeast (19-13)

Region 7

Aplington-Parkersburg (7-19) at North Linn (36-4)

Hudson (15-18) at Grundy Center (14-10)

Dike-New Hartford (11-13) at Saint Ansgar (23-7), 5:30 p.m.

Osage (14-18) at Sumner-Fredericksburg (19-16), 5:30 p.m.

Region 8

West Branch (17-17) at Iowa City Regina (18-17)

Cardinal (13-13) at Wapello (14-12)

Pekin (17-13) at Wilton (18-19)

Van Buren (14-11) at Highland (17-8)

 

Wednesday's 1A regional quarterfinals

7 p.m. unless otherwise noted

Region 5

Lone Tree (11-13) at Lynnville-Sully (23-8)

BGM (12-13) at Winfield-Mount Union (17-8)

New London (10-13) at North Mahaska (16-9)

Montezuma (10-16) at Sigourney (17-13)

Region 6

Easton Valley (8-27) at Lisbon (29-6)

Bellevue Marquette (16-14) at Don Bosco (20-13), 5:30 p.m.

Calamus-Wheatland (17-20) at Belle Plaine (22-8)

Springville (18-21) at Central City (30-10)

Region 7

Elkader Central (7-23) at Clarksville (28-1)

Turkey Valley (17-15) at Lansing Kee (22-17)

Starmont (15-21) vs. Janesville (15-10), 5:30 p.m., at New Hampton

South Winneshiek (10-19) at Edgewood-Colesburg (22-15)

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

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