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Top stars, best performances from the Iowa high school softball state tournament

The top performers from last week's Iowa high school softball state tournaments
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By Barry Poe 

Here are some stars from last week’s Iowa state softball tournament in Fort Dodge.

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

Makenzie James, Ankeny Centennial

James had a pair of doubles in four at-bats for the Class 5A top-ranked Jaguars in an 8-1 quarterfinal victory over Bettendorf. Six different players scored a run for Centennial.

Jesslyn Stairs, Southeast Polk

Stars hit a two-run homer for the Rams in a 5-2 Class 5A quarterfinal win over Central Iowa Metro League rival West Des Moines Valley. Sydney Potter went 2-for-3 and Jada Long was the winning pitcher.

Maura Chalupa, Muscatine

Chalupa pitched a two-hit shutout as the No. 7 seed upended No. 2 Ankeny 3-1 in a Class 5A quarterfinal. Chalupa struck out eight and all of the game’s runs were scored in the seventh inning.

Addison Ohda, Pleasant Valley

Ohda had three of her team’s 10 hits as Pleasant Valley beat defending Class 5A state champion Waukee Northwest 5-4 in a quarterfinal.

Brynn Acton, Winterset

Acton was 4-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBIs, leading No. 7 seed Winterset to an 11-3 win over second-seed Carlisle in a Class 4A quarterfinal. The teams combined for 30 hits, with Winterset collecting 20. Acton was named captain of the 4A all-tournament team.

Maggie Elsbecker, Fort Dodge

Elsbecker drove in three runs, helping the Dodgers past ADM, 8-3, in a 4A quarterfinal. Ellie Doster chipped in two hits for the winners.

Carley Bredar, North Scott

No. 8 seed North Scott pulled the biggest upset in 4A quarterfinal play, knocking off top seed North Polk, 7-4. Bredar was 3-for-4 with a single, double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Zadie Wadle, Norwalk

Wadle was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and got the pitching win for Norwalk in a 12-2, five-inning 4A quarterfinal win over Western Dubuque. Norwalk scored four runs in the first inning and six in the second.

Peyton Driscoll, Williamsburg

Driscoll struck out nine and allowed four hits as top-seeded Williamsburg rolled to an 11-1 win over Albia in six innings in a Class 3A quarterfinal. Carly Rich had three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored. Driscoll struck out 13 and allowed two hits in a semifinal win over Estherville-Lincoln Central and pitched a five-hit shutout in the championship contest, a 4-0 win over Davenport Assumption.

Tatum Dunlavy, Estherville-Lincoln Central

Dunlavy homered and drove in five runs for the Midgets in an 11-3 Class 3A quarterfinal win over Davis County. Winning pitcher Rylee Yager had nine strikeouts and was 4-for-5 at the plate.

Leah Maro, Davenport Assumption

Maro pitched a shutout in Class 3A quarterfinal play, blanking Saydel 5-0. She spaced seven hits and struck out 10.

Julia Roth, Dubuque Wahlert

Roth got the pitching win in a 10-0, five-inning shutout of Benton in a Class 3A quarterfinal. She also clubbed a two-run homer, sending the Golden Knights to a semifinal.

Kennedy Conner, Iowa City Regina

The sophomore hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving top-seeded and defending state champion Regina a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over eighth-seed Northeast in a Class 2A quarterfinal. The Regals tied the game in the sixth.

Katie Murphy, Interstate 35

Murphy hit a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning to snap a 5-5 tie and the Roadrunners went on to beat Lisbon 9-5 in a Class 2A quarterfinal. Trinity Darst hit a three-run homer for I-35.

Macy Blomgren, Van Meter

The senior struck out 15 batters, one shy of the Class 2A state record, as Van Meter topped Missouri Valley 6-1. Blomgren allowed four hits and fell a strikeout short of the record of 16 by Isabelle True of Louisa-Muscatine.

Cooper Klaahsen, Central Springs

Klaahsen allowed just three hits and struck out 11 in an 8-2 win over West Monona in a 2A quarterfinal. Carly Ryan had two hits and drove in three runs and Abby Pate hit a two-run homer for the Panthers.

Sydney Bears, Martensdale-St. Marys

Bears singled home Ellie Baker in the sixth inning for the only run of the game as top-seeded Martensdale-St. Marys edged Fort Dodge St. Edmond 1-0 in a Class 1A quarterfinal.

Devyn Davis, Wayne

Davis had a home run and four RBIs, leading Wayne (Corydon) past Remsen St. Mary’s 8-2 in a Class 1A quarterfinal. Izzie Moore checked the Hawks on three hits and drove in a pair.

Ellie Flanagan, North Linn

Flanagan dialed an eight-inning shutout as the Lynx clipped Sigourney 1-0 in eight innings in a Class 1A quarterfinal. North Linn scored an unearned run in the eighth to win. Flanagan pitched a three-hitter and struck out six in a semifinal triumph and was masterful with a one-hit shutout of Martensdale-St. Marys, 6-0, in the title game. She was named captain of the 1A all-tournament team.

Cailyn Hardy, Clarksville

Hardy allowed just four hits and an unearned run and drove in three as the sixth-seeded Indians moved to 29-1 with a 7-1 victory over last year’s 1A state runner-up Southeast Warren. Emmalee Manwarren was 3-for-4 and scored two runs.

Jordyn Kennedy, Ankeny Centennial

Kennedy had a double and home run, knocking in two for Centennial in an 11-1 Class 5A semifinal win over Southeast Polk. Kennedy did the same thing in the championship game as Centennial rolled past Pleasant Valley 11-0 for its first state title and Kennedy was named captain of the all-tournament team.

Mary Paige Withers, Pleasant Valley

Withers was 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs, leading Pleasant Valley past Muscatine 7-1 in a 5A semifinal.

Neela Applegate, Winterset

Applegate homered in the 4A state championship game for the second straight season as Winterset repeated as champion with a 5-3 win over North Scott. Winterset was the No. 7 seed in 4A.

Ashley Webb, Iowa City Regina

Webb chalked up three pitching wins, including a championship-game victory, as the Regals repeated as Class 2A state champions with a 6-2 win over Van Meter. Webb was named captain of the 2A all-tournament team.