(FORT DODGE, Iowa) Tuesday night Siouxland advanced two teams to the state semis in Fort Dodge. #1 Akron-Westfield made it 51 wins in a row with the 5-1 victory over Glidden-Ralston, while #3 Woodbury Central earned a win in walk-off fashion, capturing their first opening round win in 10 years.
The top-ranked Westerners didn't need a lot of offense, managing just five hits on the day. But behind Kayla Tindall's seven-inning, two-hit, one run, one walk and seven strikeout performance, A-W is back into the semis for the 2nd straight year and 10th time in the past 11 seasons.
"We know that if we play defense behind her, we typically don't give up a lot of runs," said Todd Colt, Akron-Westfield's head coach. "And she got some big outs for us and we had a couple of nice breaks and we're happy to be moving on to round two."
Up to Class 2A, the game of the day was the nightcap between #3 Woodbury Central and conference rival MV-AO. The Rams led three different times only to see the Cats comeback and tie it each time. Then in the bottom of the seventh, Keely Steffen drove in Halle Still to give Woodbury Central the game in walk-off fashion and a third win over MV-AO this season.
"I think that was honestly going to be our toughest game since we've seen them," said Halle Still, who scored the game-winning run. "And the other teams we haven't seen them yet, they don't know what's coming so hopefully we can get it done."
"These girls came to play," said Jade Manker, Woodbury Central's head coach. "Like Halle Still said earlier, they're here to win it and they have high goals set. They're one of the best teams in the state when they come to play and we're ready for Thursday's game."
So Thursday's semifinals look like this. In 1-A Akron-Westfield will take on sixth-ranked Martensdale St. Mary's at 1:30. Then in 2-A, 30 minutes before that, Woodbury Central will take on #2 Earlham. We'll have coverage of both games, coming up on Thursday.