FORT DODGE — The West Delaware Hawks had some “inside” information, and put it to good use.
“We knew that (Independence pitcher Mackenzie Hupke) was going to throw us inside,” leadoff hitter Eve Wedewer said. “We worked on that. We worked on her fastball.”
And they worked over their archrivals.
Sixth-ranked West Delaware accumulated 12 hits, striking out just twice, and whipped No. 5 Independence, 8-2, in a Class 4A quarterfinal at the state softball tournament Tuesday afternoon at the Rogers Sports Complex.
The Hawks (32-10) overcame an early 2-0 deficit, erupting for six runs in the top of the fourth inning, and avenged a pair of regular-season losses June 12, including a 14-inning loss to Hupke in which they managed just five hits and fanned 15 times.
They were properly prepared Tuesday.
“(Hupke) is good, she’s really good,” West Delaware Coach Tiffany Rave said. “But our hitting has substantially improved in the last half of the season.
“I thought in batting practice that we were going to have a good day. And even though we didn’t score in the first inning, I thought we were seeing the ball well and we were going to break through eventually.”
West Delaware (31-10) advances to Wednesday’s semifinal against No. 1 Carlisle (36-3), a 10-1 winner over Denison-Schleswig. First pitch is 3:30 p.m.
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Independence (30-12) struck first on Brooke Beatty’s two-run single in the bottom of the first. The rest of the game was all Hawks.
Eva Winn cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second, scoring on a wild pitch after reaching on a two-base error. Then the Hawks scored all six of their fourth-inning runs with two outs.
Heather Heims and Winn got things started with back-to-back singles. After JoAnna Voss walked, Leah Wegmann was hit by a 1-1 pitch to tie the game.
Wedewer ripped a two-run double. Ella Koloc added an infield single to score another, and Macey Kleitsch singled home two more. Suddenly it was 7-2, and Kleitsch (14-5) didn’t give the Mustangs a chance to counter.
“I was a little nervous out there at first,” said Kleitsch, who allowed just one hit in the final six innings. “I was excited to be here, and after I settled in, I was able to use my energy in a good way.”
Independence faces Denison-Schleswig (26-14) in a consolation game at 11:30 Wednesday morning.
“Defensively, we weren’t as aggressive as we typically are,” Indee Coach Heather Hupke said. “And we hit the ball right at the, a lot. That’s the way the game goes.”
Wedewer and Koloc were a combined 6-for-6 as the Hawks’ 1 and 2 batters.
“Our full lineup is very, very capable of hitting like this,” Wedewer said.
WEST DELAWARE 8, INDEPENDENCE 2
4A State Quarterfinal, at Fort Dodge
West Delaware 010 610 0 — 8 12 1
Independence 200 000 0 — 2 4 2
Macey Kleitsch and Leah Wegmann. Mackenzie Hupke and Kenzie Fischels. W — Kleitsch (14-5). L — Hupke (20-7).
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