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Top stars, best performances in Iowa high school softball (July 10-16)

Some of the top performances from Iowa prep softball last week
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By Barry Poe 

Here are some stars from last week’s high school softball games across Iowa.

If you know of a top performance we should include, please e-mail

Mady Ott, Ankeny Centennial

The freshman was 3-for-3 with a single, triple, home run and three RBI for the top-ranked Jaguars in a 10-1 win over Ames in a Class 5A regional final. Lauren Gustofson struck out 10 and allowed four hits in six innings pitched.

Kendra Winfrey, Ankeny

The senior drove in two runs and picked up the pitching win in relief for the Hawks in a 4-3 5A regional final win over Waukee. Winfrey (11-0) relieved starter Abby Rusher, who knocked in Ankeny’s other two runs.

Maddie Oetzmann, Waukee Northwest

The senior struck out 11 and the Wolves scored a run in the bottom of the 10th to edge Des Moines Lincoln 2-1 in a 5A regional final. Oetzmann earned her 18th win of the season and has struck out 194 batters.

Jayda Long, Southeast Polk

Long pitched a three-hitter and hit a home run, leading the Rams past Ottumwa 5-1 in a 5A regional final. Southeast Polk matches up with rival West Des Moines Valley in the state tournament.

Mackenzie Mohler, West Des Moines Valley

Mohler, a sophomore, had a single, double and homer for the Tigers in an 8-7 win over Johnston in a 5A regional final. Mohler has a .515 average, fourth best in Class 5A and the Tigers will look to avenge two regular-season losses to Southeast Polk in a first-round state matchup.

Kaitlyn Merkle, Pleasant Valley

The sophomore threw a two-hit shutout and hit a two-run homer as Pleasant Valley earned its fourth straight trip to the state tournament with a 9-0 win over Linn-Mar. Merkle retired the first 13 batters she faced and didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning.

Maura Chalupa, Muscatine

The senior pitched a two-hitter, striking out nine, and the Muskies earned a repeat trip to the state tournament with a 2-0 win over Iowa City Liberty. Muscatine, which plays Ankeny in a first-round 5A contest, placed third in last year’s state meet.

Jazzlynn Poole, Bettendorf

The freshman socked a two-run homer in the sixth innings, giving the Bulldogs an 8-7 victory over Dubuque Hempstead in a 5A regional final. Bettendorf made the state tournament for the third time in the last four seasons.

Maddy Klever, North Polk

Klever, an eighth grader, had three hits and drove in three runs as the Comets outscored Gilbert 13-10 in a Class 4A regional final. North Polk pitcher Ava Husak leads 4A with 24 pitching wins, 230 strikeouts and a .148 opponent batting average.

Kaliyah Freeman, Carlisle

The junior third baseman had two hits ans drove in three runs, leading the Wildcats to an 11-3 Class 4A regional final win over Ballard. Carlisle plays defending state champion Winterset in a first-round state tournament contest.

Lucy Porter, Fort Dodge

Porter pitched the Dodgers to their sixth straight state berth, blanking Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 5-0 in a 4A regional final. Porter struck out 13 and gave up just two hits.

Zadie Wadle, Norwalk

The senior combined with Olivia Dougherty to shut out Burlington 5-0 in a 4A regional final. Wadle also contributed an RBI double for the Warriors, who play Western Dubuque in the state tournament.

Carson Koerperich, Western Dubuque

The junior shortstop had two hits, drove in three runs and scored twice in a 12-2 win over Maquoketa in a 4A regional final. Western Dubuque has won five straight and eight of its last nine heading into a first-round state tournament game against Norwalk.

Brylee Person, ADM

Person had two of her team’s four hits, including a double, as the Tigers knocked off Dallas Center-Grimes 3-1 to earn a 4A state tournament berth. Lauren Hagedorn got the pitching win, allowing four hits.

Brynn Acton, Winterset

The Huskies will get a chance to defend their 4A state title after a 6-0 regional final win over Indianola. Acton, a sophomore first baseman, was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.

Maddy McDermott, North Scott

McDermott pitched a complete-game shutout for the Lancers in a 6-0 4A regional final win over Cedar Rapids Xavier. It was the second straight shutout in a regional final for Northern Iowa signee McDermott, who gave up four hits and struck out four.

Peyton Driscoll, Williamsburg

Driscoll struck out nine and walked one in a two-hit shutout, as the Raiders blanked Grinnell 3-0 in a 3A regional final. After finishing second, third and third in the last three 3A state tournaments, Williamsburg is the top seed in the 3A field this time around.

Isabella Krogman, Davenport Assumption

The senior shortstop had two hits, including an RBI triple, and the Knights earned their eighth straight trip to the state tournament with a 3-2 win over West Burlington in a 3A regional final. Krogman will be playing in her fifth state tournament.

Julia Roth, Dubuque Wahlert

The freshman was not only the winning pitcher in a 6-1 Class 3A regional final triumph over Solon, but also hit a two-run triple. Wahlert is the No. 3 seed in the 3A state tourney and plays Benton Community.

Kaitlyn Olinger, Davis County

The senior delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving the Mustangs the lead for good in a 3-2 win over Atlantic in a 3A regional final. Davis County makes a return trip to the state tournament in Fort Dodge, taking on Estherville-Lincoln Central.

Tatum Dunlavy, Estherville-Lincoln Central

The senior struck out 13 batters and scattered five hits in a complete-game effort, leading the Midgets to a 3-1 win over West Lyon in a 3A regional final. Estherville-LC had five hits, including two by Jaselyn Anderson, getting back to the state tournament for the second time in the last three seasons.

Layna DeMoss, Benton Community

The eighth grader walloped a three-run homer in the first inning, fueling the Bobcats’ fast start en route to an 8-2 3A regional final victory over reigning state champion Mount Vernon. Benton ended a stretch of three straight regional final losses to make state for the 17th time and first since 2018.

Dakota Lake, Saydel

The senior helped her own cause by delivering two hits, including a three-run homer, in a 12-2 3A regional final win over Greene County. Lake allowed four hits and struck out seven while walking one en route to her 23rdpitching win of the season.

Sayler Rozenboom, Albia

The speedy senior was on base in all five of her at-bats in the Chargers’ 8-2 win over Chariton in a 3A regional final. Rozenboom had four singles, drew a walk and scored twice as Albia avenged two regular-season losses to its South Central Conference rivals.

Dani Laughlin, Iowa City Regina

Laughlin, headed to Texas State University to play softball, had two hits in the defending state champion Regals’ 6-2 Class 2A regional final win over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont. Laughlin raised her batting average to .614 (fourth in the state) and Regina earned the No. 1 seed in the 2A state field.

Macy Blomgren, Van Meter

The senior struck out 10 and allowed three hits in a 10-0, five-inning victory over Pocahontas Area in a 2A regional final. Van Meter shut out its third straight post-season foe and earned the No. 2 seed in the state tournament.

Cooper Klaahsen, Central Springs

The senior pitched five perfect innings, striking out nine of the 15 batters she faced in a 6-0 win over Waterloo Columbus in a 2A regional final. Klaahsen had worked two shutout innings the night before but the game was suspended because of rain. Central Springs reached the state tournament for the ninth straight season.

Ryleigh Algood, Lisbon

The senior struck out nine and gave up two hits in a five-inning, 11-1 victory over South Winneshiek in a 2A regional final. The Lions punched their sixth straight ticket to the state tournament.

Katie Murphy, Interstate 35

The senior recorded 12 strikeouts and gave up two hits in a 2-1 2A regional final win over South Hardin. Interstate 35 won it in walk-off style in the bottom of the ninth inning to reach the state tournament.

Kacy Miller, West Monona

The junior shortstop had two hits, including a home run, and the Spartans held off North Union 7-6 in a 2A regional final. West Monona, which had lost five straight regional finals, makes its first state tournament trip since 1968.

Emerson Anderson, Missouri Valley

Anderson had two hits and knocked in three runs for the Lady Reds in an 8-4 regional final victory over Sioux Central. Missouri Valley makes the state tournament for the first time since 2011 and meets Van Meter in a Class 2A quarterfinal.

Ella Trenkamp, Goose Lake Northeast

The junior hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Northeast went on to down Wilton 5-1 in a 2A regional final. Northeast plays defending state champ Iowa City Regina in the opening round at state.

Campbell German, Martensdale-St. Marys

The junior struck out 11 and allowed two hits in a 4-0 win over Collins-Maxwell in a Class 1A regional final. The Blue Devils are the top seed in the 1A state bracket in their second straight trip.

Skylar Benesh, North Linn

Benesh was 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs as the Lynx belted Calamus-Wheatland 17-7 in a 1A regional final. North Linn is making its fifth straight trip to the state tournament.

Alivia Ruble, Southeast Warren

The senior pitched a no-hitter, striking out eight, in a 3-0 victory over Exira-EHK in a 1A regional final. Last year’s Class 1A state runner-up is back in the field for the thirdstraight season.

Izzie Moore, Wayne

The sophomore picked up the pitching win and clubbed a two-run homer as the Falcons secured their fourth state tournament berth in the last five seasons with a 5-4 1A regional final win over Griswold. Moore retired the first 13 batters she faced and ended up allowing five hits and striking out six. Wayne is one of three Pride of Iowa Conference teams in the 1A state field, joining Martensdale-St. Marys and Southeast Warren.

Claire Schroeder, Remsen St. Mary’s

Schroeder collected three hits and the Hawks blanked Logan-Magnolia 10-0 in six innings in a 1A regional final. St. Mary’s, behind pitching ace Mariah Cronin, is back in the state tournament for the second straight season and plays Wayne in the opening round.

Emmalee Manwarren, Clarksville

The sophomore rightfielder was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs as the Indians earned their fourth state softball berth n five years with a 12-2 win over Saint Ansgar in a 1A regional final. Mollie Bloker drove in four runs, while Cailyn Hardy gave up just three hits in the six-inning contest.

Carly Goodwin, Sigourney

Goodwin struck out 16 batters in a four-hit effort as Sigourney ended Twin Cedars’ reign as Class 1A state champion with a 2-1 regional final victory. The Savages play North Linn in a first-round state tourney contest.

Kaili Henning, Fort Dodge St. Edmond

Henning earned the pitching win and helped her own cause with three RBIs as the Gaels topped Newell-Fonda 11-1 in a 1A regional final. St. Edmond, which gets to stay home for the state tournament, earned its first berth since 2015 and plays top seed Martensdale-St. Mary’s in the opening round.