Wilton bests North Union in Class 2A state softball semifinals
FORT DODGE, Iowa — Unfortunately, the No. 2-seeded North Union Warriors softball team ran into a hot-hitting, upset-minded Wilton Beavers team at the wrong time in the Iowa high school state tournament.
No. 6-seeded Wilton, which upended No. 3-seeded Logan-Magnolia 7-4 during Tuesday’s state quarterfinal, posted a 14-1 run-ruled victory over North Union in a Class 2A six-inning semifinal on Wednesday at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
The Warriors (33-4) face No. 1-seeded Central Springs (32-2) in the third-fourth-place game at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Iowa Central Field back at Rogers Sports Complex.
Wilton (28-6) plays No. 4-seeded Iowa City Regina (23-11) in the Class 2A state championship game at 5 p.m. Friday. Regina pulled off a stunning upset in its semifinal game, beating Central Springs 7-4.
“We hit, hit, hit,” Wilton head coach Kortney Denkman said. “A lot of our girls played in the state tournament last year, so the experience helped them get ready for this moment. We had some great defense, which helped get us out of a couple of jams. Now, we get ready for the finals.”
North Union’s normal steady defense had its troubles against Wilton, committing five errors.
The Beavers used the errors to help score four runs in the second inning, two more in the third, one in the fourth and then put the knock-out blow by tallying seven runs in the sixth to exit the diamond early.
North Union scored its only run in the third inning when Sam Nielsen singled with one out, advanced to second base when Cassie Beadle walked and scored on Emily Meyer’s RBI double.
The Warriors had chances to get back into the game, but stranded seven runners, while Wilton left six on base.
Catie Hook doubled home two runs in the Beavers’ four-run second inning, a Warriors’ throwing error allowed two runs to score in the third, Peyton Souhrada singled home a run in the fourth and the Beavers sent 11 hitters to the plate in the seven-run sixth.
Defensively, Wilton centerfielder Payton Ganzer — an Upper Iowa softball signee — threw out Beth Streuber at third base after trying to tag up on a fly ball in the fourth inning before diving and catching a Libby Stevens’ would-be single in the sixth.
Wilton starting pitcher Charlotte Brown earned the win on the mound, pitching six innings, giving up one run on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Emily Meyer was the losing pitcher for North Union, going six innings, yielding 14 runs on 13 hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Wilton’s Taylor Drayfahl had a team-leading four hits, Peyton Souhrada had three hits, while Ganzer and Hayley Madlock each added two hits. Brown and Catie Hook chipped in with one hit apiece.
Beth Streuber had two hits to lead North Union’s six-hit effort. Sam Nielsen, Emily Meyer, Maggie Engelby and Shelby Fraker had one hit apiece for the Warriors.
WI 042 107 — 14 13 1
NU 001 000 — 1 6 5
Charlotte Brown (WP) and Hayley Madlock. Emily Meyer (LP) and Shelby Fraker.
LOB–Wilton 6, North Union 7. 2B–Taylor Drayfahl (Wilton), Catie Hook (Wilton) and Emily Meyer (North Union). SAC–Kinsey Drake (Wilton). SF–Charlotte Brown (Wilton).