For the fourth consecutive year the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawk softball team qualified for the state tournament in Ft. Dodge. The Golden Hawks did it topping the Lady Knights of Davenport Assumption 5-1 Monday night. The Mid-Prairie offense faced an uphill battle going into the game facing Assumption ace Jamie Miller who had thrown back to back no-hitters in the first two rounds of the postseason.
The Golden Hawks got to Miller in inning number three where she walked Olivia Lugar, then gave up her first hit on an Alex Rath single that scored courtesy runner Lexi Duwa to make it 1-0. Felicia Schulty smacked an RBI double to make it 2-0 Mid-Prairie. The Golden Hawks kept it rolling at the plate in the fourth with four hits and two more runs. Maddie Kaalberg and Mariah Swartzentruber started the inning with back to back singles. Lugar would deliver an RBI single to make it 3-0 and the Hawks would make it 4-0 on a rundown play. The lead increased to 5-0 next inning when Amber Kral walked, followed by a Kaalberg double to the fence and a Swartzentruber RBI single. Following the game Mid-Prairie Head Coach Justin Lutjen talked about his team’s approach at the plate and his Seniors..
“We knew that she was going to throw up, so we worked on up, but you know that pitch is just so inviting, it is hard to lay off of, so she got us a few times, but she is a great pitcher, she’s got some really great stuff, but we ended up putting the ball in play and putting some pressure on them, and we put up enough runs to win the game, and I am just so proud of my kids right now, they earned it, they worked their tails off all year, so it is just an exciting moment for all of these kids, especially these seniors,” Lutjen said.
Staked to the 5-0 lead Mid-Prairie starter Olivia Lugar would surrender just one run, that came in the fifth inning when Claire Bird and Miller singled for Assumption, followed by an Emma Villainis walk to load the bases. After a pair of fly outs to right Hannah Guy was hit by a pitch for the only run. Defensively the Golden Hawks made multiple plays in the outfield without allowing runners to score from third base and cutting down an Assumption runner at the plate on a fielders choice. In the seventh, Mid-Prairie retired the Knights in order. The final out was a ground out to Kaalberg, and the celebration was on. The win gives Mid-Prairie it’s seventh state tournament trip in the last nine years and makes it four straight trips to Ft. Dodge.
Lugar recorded the win for the Hawks, with seven innings of four hit softball, allowing one earned run, walking three and striking out four. Miller was roughed up for five runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out nine. Mid-Prairie was led at the plate by Swartzentruber who was 2/3 with an RBI and a run scored. Mid-Prairie is now 30-10 on the year. They will be in state quarterfinal action in Ft. Dodge Tuesday, July 23rd at 11:30AM against the #14 New Hampton Chickasaws. New Hampton enters the state tournament at 27-9 after a 3-1 win in the regional finals over Iowa Falls. Catch all of the action on KCII next Tuesday with pregame at 11AM live from Ft. Dodge. Also tune in to the PM Sports page Wednesday for postgame reaction and interviews from Head Coach Justin Lutjen and all of the Mid-Prairie Seniors following their win over Davenport Assumption. The one to count on for today’s local sports coverage is AM and FM KCII.