Prep Softball

Iowa high school sate softball 2018: Area team capsules

7 area teams have advanced, including 24-time qualifier Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Cedar Rapids Xavier softball players (from left) Maria Steffen, Kya Loffswold and Keera Ball celebrate an out during a game earlier this season. Xavier is at the state tournament for the first time since 2010. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Xavier softball players (from left) Maria Steffen, Kya Loffswold and Keera Ball celebrate an out during a game earlier this season. Xavier is at the state tournament for the first time since 2010. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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FORT DODGE — Capsules on area teams competing at the state softball tournament this week at the Rogers Sports Complex:

Class 5A

No. 4 CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON (34-8)

Coach: Brian Erbe (6th year at Jefferson, 208-52; 16th year overall, 532-201)

Top hitters: The MVC Mississippi Division player of the year, Lindsey Culver (jr.) has whacked eight home runs — and has 33 extra-base hits — with 42 RBIs. She is hitting .571. Liv Erickson (sr.) is hitting .437 with 54 runs, and Erica Oler (sr.) is at .414 with 40 RBIs.

Top pitchers: Oler will be the focal point in the circle. She is 26-5 with an ERA of 1.14, 223 strikeouts and 33 walks in 209 2/3 innings.

Tournament trail: Waterloo West (11-1), West Des Moines Dowling (8-0).

State-tournament history: 24th appearance, and its fifth in the last six years. Claimed championships in 1983, 1997 and 1998.

First-round opponent: J-Hawks will face No. 8 Fort Dodge (35-7) in a 5A quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

 

IOWA CITY HIGH (24-18)

Coach: Jeff Koenig (5th year, 63-97)

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Top hitters: Six starters are hitting between .319 and .383. Keli Potter (soph.) has the top average, while Ayana Lindsey (fr., .370) leads in runs (53) and Carey Koenig (fr., .360) is tops in RBIs (53). Koenig has eight home runs, Sydney Fellows (soph., .328) has seven.

Top pitchers: Lindsey and Ella Cook (fr.) share pitching duties. Lindsey is 12-10 with a 2.39 ERA and 105 strikeouts; Cook is 12-7 with a 4.01 ERA.

Tournament trail: at No. 15 Cedar Rapids Prairie (W 16-8), Linn-Mar (W 4-2).

State-tournament history: 3rd appearance, first since 2001.

First-round opponent: Little Hawks will face No. 1 Pleasant Valley (33-7), the defending champion, in a 5A quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

 

Class 4A

No. 5 INDEPENDENCE (34-6)

Coach: Heather Hupke (4th year, 87-71)

Top hitters: Mackenzie Hupke (jr.) leads the team in hitting at .420 and RBIs with 39. She has been walked 21 times and has scored 30 runs. Lydia Butters (sr.) hits .373 with a team-high 42 runs and 16 doubles.

Top pitchers: Hupke has posted a 23-3 mark with a 0.91 ERA. She has fanned 176 batters and walked 26 in 177 1/3 innings. Megan Brock (jr.) is 11-3.

Tournament trail: Dubuque Wahlert (W 4-2), Marion (W 7-5).

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State-tournament history: 8th appearance, first since a run of six straight from 2000 through 2005. Runner-up in 2000 and 2002.

First-round opponent: Mustangs will face No. 15 Sergeant-Bluff-Luton (23-13) in a 4A quarterfinal final at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

No. 11 CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER (25-16)

Coach: Nikki Gahring (6th year, 152-91)

Top hitters: Keera Ball (jr.) has compiled a .416 batting average with 15 doubles and has scored 41 runs. Charlotte Richards (sr.) is at .408 with 16 doubles and a team-high 44 RBIs. Jenae Marshall (jr.) is at .392, Olivia Richards (jr.) at .385.

Top pitchers: Maria Steffen (sr.) carries the load for the Saints. She owns a record of 22-11 with a 2.20 ERA and 151 strikeouts against 81 walks in 194 innings.

Tournament trail: Iowa City Liberty (W 1-0), Keokuk (W 8-0).

State-tournament history: 6th appearance, first since 2010. Highest finish with third in 2006.

First-round opponent: Saints will face No. 10 Newton (24-7) in a 4A quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

 

Class 3A

BENTON COMMUNITY (27-14)

Coach: Eric Stenberg (5th year, 181-32)

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Top hitters: Shelby Hulsebus (sr.) is the state’s leading hitter at .654. All but one of her 89 hits are singles. She has scored 67 runs, and stolen 41 of 42 bases. She leads off a top of the lineup that also features juniors Angie Gorkow (.470, 15 HR, 55 RBIs, 51 runs) and Grace Martensen (.468, 12 HR, 51 runs, 63 RBI).

Top pitchers: Martensen and Katelyn Buscher (fr.) split the pitching duties nearly 50-50. Martensen is 14-9 with a 2.57 ERA; Buscher is at 13-4 and 3.24.

Tournament trail: Iowa Falls-Alden (W 13-3), at No. 10 Solon (W 4-2), at No. 6 Eddyville EBF (W 6-3).

State-tournament history: 16th appearance, and its third in four years. State champion in 1966, 1998 and 2016.

First-round opponent: Bobcats will face No. 1, defending-champion Davenport Assumption (36-3) in a 3A quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Monday.

 

Class 2A

No. 10 IOWA CITY REGINA (23-15)

Coach: Jake Koolbeck (1st year, 23-15)

Top hitters: Paisley Gardner (sr.) is batting .415 with 35 RBIs. Jess Hunter (jr.) is at .367 with 43 runs and 40 stolen bases, and Katie Bracken (jr.) is hitting .358.

Top pitchers: Bracken gets the bulk of the duty in the circle. She is 15-13 with a 2.78 ERA and 137 strikeouts and 37 walks in 161 1/3 innings.

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Tournament trail: Aplington-Parkersburg (W 12-0), Denver (W 10-0), at No. 9 North Linn (W 2-0, 9 innings).

State-tournament history: 8th appearance, and its fourth in a row. 2A state champion in 2011, 2015 and 2017.

First-round opponent: Regals will face No. 5 Alta-Aurelia (22-3) in a 2A quarterfinal at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

 

Class 1A

No. 9 LISBON (33-8)

Coach: Bob Bunting (49th year, 1,160-624)

Top hitters: Chloe Woldruff (fr.) is hitting .556 and, though despite playing just 20 games, is second on the team in RBIs (33). Sam Schrantz (jr., .411) leads with 37 RBIs, and Reegan Happel (jr., .360) has scored 46 runs and is 45-for-45 in stolen-base tries.

Top pitchers: Skylar Sadler (jr.) has posted a 24-5 mark with an ERA of 0.78. She has struck out 216 and walked 24 in 179 2/3 innings.

Tournament trail: Bellevue Marquette (W 3-0), No. 14 Calamus-Wheatland (W 4-2), at No. 1 Lansing Kee (W 2-0).

State-tournament history: 7th appearance, first since 2004. Won three straight 1A titles between 1994 and 1996.

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First-round opponent: Lions will face No. 11 Martensdale-St. Marys (24-14) in a 1A quarterfinal at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

 

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