1A IGHSAU Iowa Farm Bureau Girls State Softball Championships

>>It’s championship Friday. Five trophies, looking for new homes. Who will take home the hardware here at Rogers sports complex in Fort Dodge. Will it be a squad that can wait out Mother Nature, that’s what we’re waiting for now as the tarp has been pulled, a 3 1/2 hour rain delay on Thursday, leads to a late night but, hey, we’re ready for five great games starting with Akron-Westfield Westerners and the Kee Hawks. Good morning. We start with the defending straight, they won 53 straight, looking for another title, Akron-Westfield, incredible program. They are led by their pitcher.>>Kayla Tindall was an alternative performer a year ago, would like to do it again. She likes the change-up. She’s 5 8 hitting .625 and needs that performance today.>>Kee is 34-9 led on a youth movement starting with the ninth grader, Kendra Cooper.>>She has great composure in the circle, she’s not been rattled at all in the tournament. As a matter of fact, in the tournament, an ERA of .64, ten strikeouts. Coming in with ten home runs, impressive for an 8th grader.>>A great game to get us started here this morning.>>It is a windy morning here in Fort Dodge, the rain has moved out, the wind is left behind. It’s time to see who is playing. Let’s go to Jim Stokes for today’s lineup.>>Good morning. In this 1-A game between the Westerners from Akron-Westfield. [APPLAUSE] And the Hawks from Kee high school in Lansing. Let’s meet the nonstarters. First, for the visitors from Akron-Westfield, number 7, Jessica Hansen. Number 9 Brynn VanEldik. Number 10, Danika Tindall. Number 12, Courtney Waterbury. Number 18, Hannah Boehme. Number 20, Sam Johnson. Number 22, Jordan Neubrand. Number 25, MaKayla Swancutt. Number 30, Ryleigh Schnell. Number 32, Trisha Frerichs. Assistant coaches Kent Johnson and Rachel Harris. Now the starters from Akron-Westfield, leading off and pitching number 11, Kayla Tindall. Batting second, playing center field, number 34, Katie Johnson. Batting third, playing shortstop, number 6, Courtney Hedlund. Batting fourth, playing right field, number 21, Desi Oltmanns. Batting fifth, playing third, number 27, Bailey Davis. Batting sixth, playing second, number 23, Dana Hedlund. Batting seventh, playing center field, number 5, Jordan Hansen. Batting eighth, the designated player, number 24, Bethany Eastman. Batting ninth, first base, number 3, Sarah Schroeder. Catching number 3, Ann Hedlund. Head coach is Mr. Todd Colt. For the home team from Kee, nonstarters, number 2, MaKayla Manning. Number 7, Claudia Mathis. Number 8, Sierra Schubert. Number 9, Casey Walsh. Number 12, Sydney Strong. Number 14, Annie Dibert. Number 20, Nicki Wood. And number 23, Maddie Gruber. The assistant coach for Kee is Tiffanie Peters. And now the starters for Kee, leading off playing second base, number 13, Ellie Cooper. Batting second, playing shortstop, number 11, Kaylee Darling. Batting third, pitching, number 10, Kendra Cooper. Batting fourth, playing right field, number 18, Val Meyer. Batting fifth, playing third base, number 4, Courtney Cooper. Batting sixth, catching, number 1, Ellie Heiderscheit. Batting seventh, playing first base, number 17, Molly Walleser. Batting eighth, the designated player, number 15, Chloe Severson. Batting ninth, center field, Jordan Colsch, and number 5, Nicole Vinson. The head coach for the Hawks is miss Liz Hill. Our umpires for the contest as assigned by the Iowa girls high school athletic union, first base Mr. Al Hermson. At third days, Mr. Al Stokes. Calling balls and strikes, Mr. Richard Sebring. Ladies, let’s play state championship softball!>>The fans are ready. The teams are ready. The field is ready. Laura, we’re ready.>>We’re ready, absolutely ready for state tournament softball. It’s always an exciting day. It’s a great day. The weather has turned out, a little rain yesterday but we’ll have a great day today.>>A little?>>A lot of rain.>>That’s an understatement, 3 1/2 hour rain day yesterday afternoon, during the semifinal game. The last game, this morning, finished at We have five games here on Iowa public television. We start with 1-A. Let’s talk with Akron-Westfield. Here is their lineup. Kayla Tindall leads off, Katie Johnson in center, Courtney Hedlund at short, Bailey Davis the third baseman, Dana Hedlund, Jordan Hansen, Bethany Eastman, Sarah Schroeder and Hedlund. If you look at stats, stats are not important to Akron-Westfield, Laura, as much as they are executing and playing the game. One think we’ve got to warn you about, there are going to be moves and stoppages as they set lineups, move players in certain positions. They are ready to play at every batter.>>Yeah, a lot of strategy happens with Akron-Westfield. And they look at the lineups, they do scouting, they look to see who is at the plate and make their moves.>>They have one year’s worth of work to watch Kendra Cooper, an eighth grader with a sister, cousin and cousin, two on the field of play, one is the coach. She’s the cousin of head coach Liz Hill, and this is a squad that 5-46 over the two years of 2011 and 2012 last year they were 15-14, and you have anybody on the squad, Laura, they will tell you youth made the difference.>>They built it from the game up. Ask the coach, they say the players. The players say it’s the coaching.>>Here is a look at the defense. Heiderscheit behind the plate. Walleser at first, Darling at short. Cooper at third, Vinson, and Meyer. Stepping in is the pitcher, Kayla Tindall, a senior playing in another state championship game. That first pitch is fouled off down the line. 200 left center and right here at Harlan Rogers field in Fort Dodge. It’s windy, sunny skies, 70 degrees. The wind is steady at 15 but it’s making gusts over 25 miles an hour. That goes with the change-up over the head, and it’s now a 1-1 count.>>I think if you get a ball up in the air, especially the first game, and the conditions may change, I think you’ll see some balls that might get up in the wind and sail out.>>Monday’s tournament was windy but the rest of the day did not have wind like this.>>You never know up here in Fort Dodge. We saw it yesterday, it changes from one minute to the next. It was warm, it was nice, and then the clouds rolled in. We got the rain. It’s chilly here this morning.>>Tindall steps in on a 1-2 pitch, fouled down the line. They will do it again.>>One thing with Kee, you look at their defense, out on the field, they play in, not at normal depth, that’s something that I asked Coach Hill about. You can see them looking for the sign from the catcher and they shift over to their position, defensively. So a little bit interesting, and I think it keeps the defense on their toes, keeps them in the ball game.>>That really would be how they took Lynnville out, they talk away the small ball. Ball 2. The pitch is high. Now it’s ball 3. Full count. Tindall has worked the count full to lead off here in the top of the first. The pitcher, Kendra Cooper, fouled out of play.>>You have the senior in Kayla Tindall at the plate with the eighth grader in Cooper in the circle matching strategy, matching wits, to see who is going to win out here in the first at-bat.>>The 3-2 on the ground to short. And the game’s first out is recorded, Kayla Darling goes to Molly Walleser, and there’s one away in the top of the first.>>Good at-bat by Tindall, she made Cooper throw a lot of pitches, you could see maybe a few nerves by Cooper out there in the circle, but she was able to battle back and get the out.>>The keys to the game for Akron-Westfield?>>What they need to do, we talk about business as usual, they have been here before. They know how to win.>>Fly ball gets down, and falls behind the shortstop. Kayly Darling, and Johnson is aboard with the game’s first hit.>>That one is got up in it the air, just placed in the right spot, nobody could get to it.>>Darling was playing in at short. Now one on, one out to bring Courtney Hedlund, the junior and shortstop, fouls the pitch pitch out of play.>>Do we want to go to the second key for Akron-Westfield? We talked about business as usual. It doesn’t seem like it’s state tournament if they are not here, and smart base running is something coach Todd Colt said.>>Going for the steal and she’s out! Katie Johnson thrown out at second by Ellie Heiderscheit. She’s erased the only base runner of the game. Let’s look again. Heiderscheit got the pitch in front of the bag where it’s supposed to be.>>That was close.>>Hedlund strikes out. Kee celebrating early, Hedlund runs to first thinking it was dropped, but it was not. You at least play it out and make the umpire make the call. The Westerners are erased in the first. The last out, a low pitch in the dirt but it is corralled. The umpire made the call right away for the strikeout. And two quick plays in two pitches, Johnson thrown out, caught stealing. The play went 2-6 for the second out. One, two, three go the Westerners. Key will bring in Cooper, Darling and Kendra Cooper to lead us off. There’s your lineup for the Kee Hawks, northeast Iowa. A combination of Lansing and New Alban. Val Meyer in right, Courtney Cooper at third, a cousin, Ellie Heiderscheit behind the plate, Molly Walleser at first, Severson, Colsch also in the lineup, in center field, the flex player is Nicole Vinson. They are playing like a team that has absolutely nothing to lose.>>They are very loose. They are very excited to be here. And why not? They have only been here one other time. And so they are playing with no fear, and they just keep advancing in every game, they get a little bit more excited and that carries into the championship game.>>Cooper swings and misses on the first offering from Kayla Tindall, she’s behind 0-1, a .422 hitter that bats from the left-hand side. Takes the pitch. She got a piece of it and knocked it foul. As we see there, Ellie, 19 runs batted in for the squad. Ellie is the sister of pitcher Kendra. And their cousin, Courtney, is at third. 0-2 hit on the ground towards first, fielding it and stepping on the bag. Bethany Eastman, already a defensive change in the lineup for Coach Todd Colt.>>We knew that would happen. We saw it yesterday, quite a few changes yesterday in the semifinals. It prolonged the game but he did it to give his team the best chance to win the ball game.>>Hey, I don’t have what they have in 5-A, he told us. A hit to short, over to first, Courtney Hedlund, over to Eastman for the play, and Darling is retired. Two outs now here in the bottom of the first. Coach was saying I don’t have the nine best players, I do what I do with the best that I have. And put them in the right spots. If I have need to make a change in between batters, that’s what I do. The pitcher swings, hits it back to the other pitcher. Cooper is retired by Tindall, scoreless through the first inning of play.>>Well, we knew that both of these pitchers might dominate in this ball game, I think here in the first inning we certainly have seen the pitchers step up.>>Our third member of the broadcast team is Brent Blum, he will be with us throughout the day to provide story lines. We’ll check in with him in a moment, but we’ll let you know that Kee went one, two, three in that inning, the Westerners 37-0, they have run 53 straight, Laura, defending champs. Coming into the tournament, they were outscoring their opponents 371-24. It’s a potent offense.>>And it’s impressive. It’s a potent offense and great pitching, and defense as well. And so when you can score that many runs, and granted you are probably 10-running a lot of times, maybe shortened games, five-inning games, this team can put up a lot of runs in a variety of ways. They have a nice mix of speed and power.>>It’s something I’ve been looking at. We talked about it yesterday, Laura, off-air. The strength of schedule. You look at Akron-Westfield’s schedule, they didn’t play a team that made it to the state tournament. Kee played nine games against teams that have come to state. So two different approaches but it’s different in Akron’s case. They are just that good of a squad.>>They keep reloading. And you look up and down the lineup, it’s a nice mix of seniors and freshmen and juniors and so they have — they keep reloading year in and year out as evidenced by their run coming here to the state tournament.>>Desi Oltmanns, the first pitch is fouled. Davis and Hedlund up for the Westerners in the second inning at Harlan Rogers complex on the north side of Fort Dodge, very windy day. Wind blowing from right to left. And the next pitch is high for a ball. 1-1. Oltmanns, most of the time plays that right field position, she did have a couple changes done yesterday as she was brought in to play first base, change-up is hit, and pulled foul down the third baseline, and she’s behind now 1-2.>>She waited back on that one, but it was already — she had her momentum out in front and couldn’t get a good swing on that change-up or would have dumped it to right field.>>The tag, Walleser retires Desi Oltmanns, one away in the top of the second.>>Walleser stumbled a little bit as she was trying to get over to first base to get the out but got over there and put the first one in the books.>>The first pitch is lined through the hole for a base hit. Bailey Davis, the freshman, who is all-tournament as an eighth grader last year, Bailey plays the third base position for the Westerners, already we’ll see a change here. As Davis is going to get the hit and she will be replaced as a courtesy runner. Courtney Waterbury. Waterbury an 8th grader.>>What, another 8th grader?>>You would think somebody that won 53 straight did it with juniors and seniors. Davis a freshman, Dana Hedlund — and already another change in the lineup here. Coming to the plate, Trisha Frerichs, she will bat for Dana Hedlund.>>This is strategy as its finest. This is what Coach Colt does. He looks at the situation, sees what the defense is going to do and makes that substitution.>>You can see he them stare at the wrist band, the players have a grid — Heiderscheit back to the screen, going down to second place is going to be the courtesy runner. Waterbury.>>I think she got hit by the pitch.>>She got hit by the pitch. Okay. This is going to be very close. And you’re listening, it goes right off that elbow pad, that’s what the umpires are doing, Laura, watching and listening. One told me they use all sense. So Frerichs gets on base. Hedlund comes to run for her own position. It’s like Frerichs was the pinch hitter but in high school ball you can reenter the game.>>Yes, and it’s hard to keep track of and it makes for a messy score book, especially if when you’re scoring the game for Akron-Westfield, because there will be multiple changes and multiple parts, moving parts.>>Jordan Hansen is in the batter’s box now, one out. The pitch goes low. The two on. One out here in the top of the second. The Westerners trying to get a couple runs across and get a lead. They started slow on Tuesday. Really put the bat on the ball yesterday. In their semifinal game. Cooper’s pitch goes high and she falls behind 2-0.>>There’s a situation you already have the runner in scoring position on second base, you want to try to lay down a bunt and get two runners in scoring position, or are you going to hit away with Hansen?>>Foul back into the screen, there’s your answer.>>Yeah.>>She’s hitting.>>You never know with Coach Colt, does he play by the book or look at his grid and go, you know what, we might try a slap bunt, a hit and run, who knows? It’s not out of his realm to surprise speech.>>Waterbury at second, Hansen at first.>>A big pitch here. If you load ’em up early, that puts pressure on a young team in Kee that hasn’t been here before.>>Bobbles off the glove of Cooper, fielded by Ellie Cooper, the most important thing here, you advance the runners to second and third, if you’re a Westerners fans.>>It gives you the advantage here, and that ball got back to Cooper in a hurry. She could barely get her glove up. It’s a good thing she did. The she slowed it down enough that the other Cooper over at second base could come over and pick it up and get the out.>>Digging in is Bethany Eastman, a senior. The first pitch is looked at for a strike. This is the most I’ve seen Coach Colt pace up and down in the box, in the two games this week at the tournament. Pitch comes back to the plate. Cooper goes to first. The threat is avoid the. The Westerners leave two. Kee gets out of there without allowing a run. Let’s take a look at that last play as it came right back up the middle at Kendra Cooper and she caught it and just like she’s done thousands of times before, throws to first for the out. And the Westerners are retired here.>>That was a big spot in that inning. To be able to get out of it with the scoring threat on base, had the comebacker come back to Cooper and get the out, get out of the inning and that gives them more confidence as they roll on in the championship game.>>Now the Westerners come back on. Two on with one out, not able to score a run. The Akron defense is on the field now. Hedlund behind the plate, Schroeder at first, Tindall is your pitcher, left goes Hansen, Johnson an Oltmanns. They ever led by the pitcher, Kayla Tindall. She will come back in and face Val Meyer, Courtney Cooper and Ellie Heiderscheit, and if anybody gets aboard, Molly Walleser.>>Myers an all-district performer, stepping in trying to get things started for Kee.>>Bats .461, 40 runs batted in. They know all about the Kee Hawks. The rest of the state maybe not as much. Ground ball to Hedlund, to first for the out. Myers retires, 6-3 bringing in Courtney Cooper.>>All these teams here at the state tournament have been very good defensively.>>The keys to the get we’ll get back to in a moment for Kee and what they need to do to win.>>They need to score early and take the early innings, getting people on base, put pressure on this Akron-Westfield team and enjoy the moment, the first time they have been in the state title game. They need to enjoy it and play loose and get in the state tournament, that I think is what has been a factor, they have played loose, and whatever happens, happens. They let it go and continue to knock out hits and wins.>>0-2 pitch is high. It will be 1-2. You want your team to play like it’s a game with no score, and it’s you playing with other girls. We know that reality is very hard to achieve in a state championship game.>>It’s easy to achieve up until this game when you’re playing for the tournament title, the state title and you start thinking about a few other things, but I have a feeling with the youth on this team of Kee, I don’t know if that pressure will be there as much because of their mindset.>>Courtney Cooper strikes out for the second out of the inning. Opponents are batting .133 against her. She will go to northwestern in orange city as she faces Ellie Heiderscheit. The pitch, over to third. Bailey Davis throws to Sarah Schroeder. Or to Beth Eastman, and the Hawks are retired, one, two, three. Scoreless through the first two. Heiderscheit took that pitch, and Davis was in at third, made a routine play to retire Kee in that game.>>A lot of it comes down to defense. I would say most of it comes down to defense. You’ve got to make the plays, one slipup may cost you.>>The third member of the broadcast team is Brent Blum. And he’s alongside the field here, let’s check in for our first report of the day with Brent Blum.>>Thanks, I’m here with the Akron-Westfield folks. The they have what they call the fab five. Senior group of girls, since they have joined the club, as 8th graders, have gone 183-6 and finished third in basketball, a special group of girls capping off their legacy.>>Part of the 53-straight-win one, they won a state championship last year, they won a state championship in 2011, 2010 and were fans in the stands in 2006 and 2005. They know how to get from Akron-Westfield to Fort Dodge, the car is on auto pilot, as we begin the top of the third for the Westerners, and batting third is Sarah Schroeder.>>Year in and year out, you look at the rankings, you look at the standings, and you look at the regional pairings and then you just figure that this is the team that’s going to get here. And it would be abnormal if they didn’t.>>They beat clay central and Lamar Catholic, and Newell Fonda, no stranger to Fort Dodge. They beat a good team there.>>We look through the record books, and it’s interesting throughout the years to see what teams are repeaters, and what have the good tradition in the softball program.>>They are going to say Schroeder was hit by the pitch. And we’re going to have an umpire conference. Here is another look at it. The pitch is up in the zone, and you could argue it hit the bat but it didn’t sound like it hit the bat.>>She did flex her hand a little bit. Now, I don’t know if she was trying to sell the umpire on the fact that she got hit, but certainly it looked like it might have glanced off of her hand.>>Home plate umpire Richard Sebring made the call right away. And they are huddling at third, they are going to award the base. They are going to say Schroeder was hit by the pitch. Another look from our first base camera. And, boy, you can’t tell it there either. But the call is made, the play stands, and now Liz Hill is trying to get an explanation from home plate umpire Richard Sebring saying it went off of her.>>She is looking to try to get clarification and I think her argument is it did hit the bat before it hit her hand.>>While the action happens there will be another courtesy runner, Danika Tindall will come in and run for Schroeder. Normally Danika runs for sister Kayla in the game but not at this point. Now the assistant coach is trying to get an explanation as Liz Hill heads back into the dugout. Liz works in the west union district, an hour away, and drives that hour each way to coach the squad. She’s a special Ed teacher at west union,played at mount mercy, outstanding player. You could make the case she’s an outstanding coach early on here, with what she’s been able to do with this program.>>You talk to these players, and they all give credit to her for helping turn the program around, and obviously for her to drive an hour each way, every day, she’s dedicated to this program and it shows.>>The players that we talked to after the game yesterday told us that it’s all because of her is why they are here. They will do whatever she says. Coach says jump, kids say how high? 1-0, fouled out of play by Kayla Tindall.>>Coach Hill will say it’s all the players, it’s all on them because we go out there and we practice, we teach them the fundamentals, they are the ones that are executing.>>Kendra Cooper, a comebacker, looks at second, doesn’t get the play. Instead goes to first. Danika will advance to second. Kayla Tindall retired at first on a 1-3 putout for the first out at the top of the inning.>>That’s one where you think you got to get the first out at second base, you got to make that play. You got the out. That’s all right. It does put a runner in scoring position.>>Well, it does the same as a sacrifice would do. You wouldn’t want Kayla Tindall to put down the bunt but she would if she she’s asked to. She would put the ball in play any way possible to help the team but she was swinging away. Katie Johnson behind in the count, 0-1, shows a bunt and pulls it back and looks at another one go by for a ball. 1-1.>>I think Cooper could have gotten her at second. I don’t want to second guess her. She looked at her but I guess that instinct is get the out.>>Maybe she looked and didn’t see if Darling was there or Cooper was there in time and maybe she hesitated just enough to think I don’t want to throw that if they are not covering and let’s get the out.>>Cooper is 2-1, swung on and missed. The count is back to 2-2 on Katie Johnson who in her last at-bat got the game’s first hit but was caught stealing. Again shows that bunt. Chokes up on the bat. Pokes it down the right side. Off the glove of Walleser, and no play is made anywhere, now there’s runners at the corners with one out.>>Same spot where she hit the in her last at-bat, this one hung up a little bit and neither Cooper or Walleser could get to it.>>It was going to be a tough play. I think Walleser’s got to let Cooper get that ball and go back to first.>>And cover up.>>Cover the base. There was nobody covering the bag. In baseball the pitcher would have that.>>Now the defense is really going to have to come in. You’ve got runners at the corners.>>The third place hitter puts a bunt down, but it’s foul. And Courtney Cooper picked that up in foul territory, the moment it went foul she had enough instinct to pick it up then so it didn’t hit a rock and bounce back fair because I tell you what, coming down the line in a hurry was Danika Tindall, and she would have scored the game’s first run.>>I don’t know if they had the squeeze on. They might have had the squeeze on. She got a good jump it looked like.>>Again, Courtney Hedlund, the pitch is in there for a strike and they will let Johnson go to second for the stolen base. Don’t even throw down. Now runners at second and third. With one out. And 0-2 pitch. That was I’m guessing a play called to allow the runners to get in place. He has a lot of confidence in what Hedlund can do. Ball up and out of the zone for a ball.>>Tindall over at third can get a good jump, because Darling’s not coming over to cover third, and Cooper is coming in charging as she shows bunt at the plate. So Tindall can get a pretty good lead off of third base.>>Courtney plays tight. The ball swung on and fouled it off. She showed bunt, choked up, didn’t have a full swing on it. Hedlund struck out in the first, she bats now with two on and one out. In foul territory, the catch made by Molly Walleser. A great grab. She did a great job punching it to the right side, Walleser right there, snags it.>>Great play! Walleser. Walleser retires Hedlund, they call that a foul. That was made in foul territory. Now the grounder comes back to second, Ellie Cooper over to first. Another threat thwarted by the Hawks. Cinderella is hanging around the dance. They do not care that’s number one.>>The nerves could have set in in, both situations, the last couple innings, Akron-Westfield has had runners in it scoring positions and this young team has been able to fight through it and get out of it.>>It you see Cooper, she made the calm play there. Ellie Cooper.>>You know what? If we just say Cooper all day we’ll be right.>>Well, we could also say the same for Coach Hill, a cousin to the Coopers, and that’s special. They talk about that. They don’t make a big deal about it. In small town Iowa, it’s just shall did – that’s the way it is. You know that chances are you’ve got one or two or three sisters on the team.>>Right.>>Or a cousin. And you know you grow up doing everything together, multiple activities for Kee, must be activities for these players from Akron. The girls do a lot — they spend a lot of time together. Brent talked about it earlier, how they were on the basketball team, and the fab five have been through a lot of great games and great moments.>>They came up together. They said this is really a special moment for them, because they have come up together, played so many different sports and so for them to be able to win this title here as the Fab Five and the five seniors, it would be very exciting for them.>>Walleser pops it up. It’s dropped. Hedlund had it in her glove. A slow pop-up.>>That one, I think started in foul ground and then got blown back into the field of play.>>Well, what happened is the first baseman, Beth Eastman, made a move on it but as you mentioned, Laura, the wind blew the thing farther towards Hedlund. They are going to rule that an error and now we’re going to have a courtesy runner for Kee. And it’s going to be Anna Dibert. She will run for Walleser. Who reaches on the E-4.>>We’re going to have some defensive changes here as well. Looks like Ryleigh Schnell is going to come in to second base, and Dana Hedlund is going to move over to first.>>This is what Coach Colt likes to do. He did this a lot yesterday in certain situations. He was trying to take away a bunt from Martinsdale-St. Mary’s. Schumacher, a very good bunter, coach said I’m going to bring everybody in, he would make a move just like you mentioned, and he did it again here. As Davis stays at third, Hedlund is at short.>>Schnell at second.>>Schnell at second.>>And then –>>They move Hedlund over to first.>>To first. It’s hard to keep track of it.>>The bunt, by Chloe Severson, foul and out of play.>>Ryleigh Schnell is only in the ball game for defensive purposes. Look at her stats coming into this tournament, only 4 is at-bats on the season, so it gets a little bit of playing time but has been inserted for defensive purposes.>>Bunt is shown, ball in front of the plate. The ball goes over first base! Gunning to third is the 8th grader. She goes to third and Severson stands on second. That was a wild one. We’ll watch that one unfold again.>>That bunt was laid down perfectly. There’s a whole lot of commotion in front of the plate, lays it down right between the lines and then the throw sails over Schnell’s head into right field and I think Dibert, when she got to second, she held up and Coach Hill was waving her around and that throw came in off line. If it would have been online she would have been out at third.>>That will bring in the 9th place batter, Jordan Colsch, two on, nobody out for the Kee Hawks. Dibert at third is a runner for Molly Walleser. Chloe Severson, the 8th grader, is at second. She laid down a bunt that went no more than three feet in front of the plate but it went more in front of the batter’s box than anything. That the backup just died.>>It was perfectly laid down, and a lot of bodies around it, and Severson was able to get out and around and get to first base.>>The pitch is in there for a strike. You have two 8th graders on the base path for Kee. You have a senior at the plate. One of the two seniors. The other one is Ellie Heiderscheit. And Ellie told me after the — look at the 0-2 go up high. Ellie told me after the game in the quarterfinal that they had just forgotten that winning is fun. That’s the one thing they have learned from this year, you know what? Winning is fun! And it’s changed her outlook. Change-up, swung on and missed by Colsch. One away but the top of the lineup is up for the Kee Hawks.>>Winning is contagious. But losing is contagious too. If you continue to lose and figure that’s our program, that’s how it’s going to be, then you have that mindset, but you get a change in attitude in a place like Kee with a new coach, a new field, they have the youngsters.>>Ground ball coming home, scores the run. 1-0 Kee! On a ground ball hit to the right side. She was hesitant to go but Cooper — look at this one, Laura. Right back to the second baseman, they come home but the throw, Dibert thinks about sliding and falls on the base.>>A little hesitation by Schnell at second base, that’s what maybe cost her a little bit, and I think Dibert was going on contact and they did exactly what you need to do, hit the ball to the right side of the field, get the runner in motion, the splits second hesitation on the throw by Schnell that allowed the run to score.>>Now the Hawks up 1-0 in the third. Coming in, Kayly Darling. Darling, another one of those seniors. Most of their high school career, they have not experienced inwithing. They were 5-46 over the 2011 and 2012, 15-14 last year. 34-9 this year, looking for win number 35. For a state championship, as the pitch, the count is even at one ball and one strike.>>She’s a player, softball players playing here for the title, she’s going to play basketball in college.>>Ball coming home, they get the out at the plate. Severson out by three, Bailey Davis just steps through. She’s playing in at third. And you got to be going the whole time, it was an easy play at the plate.>>Severson went on contact, and so just as soon as the ball is hit she was going, and that’s something I think you discuss with your coach. Are we going on contact if it’s hit to the infield, pitched to the left side, right side, there’s discussion between coaches and base runners.>>Another defensive change, we’ll bring in Eastman back into the game to go play first. Coming back out is Schnell.>>Hedlund goes back to second place.>>Hedlund goes back to second. Got that all square?>>You should see my score card.>>That’s why I’m using a pencil. Coach Todd Colt is also the golf coach for Akron-Westfield. They were third in state, six players on this team on that third place golf team. Golf runs up next to softball.>>Uh-huh.>>And coach gets a little nervous when he can’t start softball.>>There was a rumor running around here earlier this week.>>State golf, he was going to take the pitching machine so his players could get in some batting practice. No, no, no. We talked about it. I thought about it. But we didn’t do that.>>Even though players said, yeah, coach gets nervous when we don’t get our cuts in, but all are very good golfers, third in the state in golf, and I believe we asked Tindall, what did you shoot? Probably my best round ever, an 85. That’s impressive.>>I asked coach what his handicap, he said I’m upset if I don’t get under 80.>>We’re not playing with him.>>I’m not playing with him. Kee has yet to have a hit. Tindall throwing a no hitter but she trails 1-0 as the first pitch is fouled and out of play. No hits this inning. Two errors. A strikeout. Two fielder’s choices is how we get to this situation. Cooper looks to help herself as there’s runners at second and third. Ellie is at third. Kayla Darling is at second. Kendra, the pitcher, is now behind 0-2.>>An opportunity to knock in insurance runs.>>47 RBI’s on the season, will she get 48 and 49 here? A loud thud above the scorer’s table here at Harlon Rogers field in Fort Dodge. Brent Brent is here, the entire Iowa public television crew, glad to have you here. 12-0, Kee leads, and the threat is ended. However, the Hawks push across the run, a huge run to take a 1-0 lead.>>We talked about scoring early. Akron was fielding. Let’s see how they respond, they are the veteran team, here a year ago, defending their state title now, down in the count and would like to bounce right back.>>We’ll try to talk to head coach Liz Hill to find out what’s going on with her. She’s a very excitable personality, fun to talk to and she is standing by with — your team is handling the moment well. How would you characterize the start?>>Um, great. A lot of pressure, we’re able to pull through and hang tight so hopefully we continue that and stay relaxed and play our games.>>What did you tell your 8th grader in the circle?>>Relax. She’s doing great.>>Best of luck.>>Thank you.>>That’s Liz Hill, the Hawks up 1-0 as we head to the fourth inning.>>Brent Blum, thank you very much. And it’s the second trip to state for Kee in softball, the first was in 2002. First one for this squad, but Kee is no stranger to the hard ball at the state tournament. Kee baseball long known for their tradition, eight state titles for gene Schultz, a couple players on this team that have some connections to coach Schultz or players that came through for one of the eight championship teams, one is the catcher, Ellie Heiderscheit. Her father was on the 1984 squad and played in the minors for the expos, coached for a couple years. Ellie has that athlete blood line, she will go to Iowa state. Softball is done after today.>>You know, I would assume she might get the itch, maybe see if she could walk on.>>They are waiting on our cue and we’re going to get going. Kendra Cooper — sorry, Laura, I interrupted you.>>No, go ahead.>>We start the fourth 1-0. Kee leads. First pitch is fouled off by Bailey Davis out of play. 0-3-2 for the Westerners, 1-0-0 for the Hawks.>>I thought you were looking at Coach Colt’s score card when you said that. I thought you were calling signals to the hitter.>>He said they have not missed a sign because of the number grid system they use.>>A lot of colleges have gone to that. I’ve seen that in quite a few college teams, players have wrist bands, they know what they are doing and instead of going through a series of signs they hear the number and know what the combination is, what the indicator is, get back into the box and swing away.>>Liner down the third baseline, six inches foul. We’ll do it again.>>Just barely foul, hugging the line over the third base line and fell outside the chalk mark.>>The pitch is swung on, lifted high in the air over the head of the center fielder, Jordan Colsch. Bailey Davis is on second base with her second hit of the ball game. I take that back. Bailey Davis did not bat the first time around.>>Because of all the changes.>>Because of all the changes. I had to look at a note. Now Davis gets her first hit of the game.>>Colsch thought she had a bead on it but it sailed and got to the fence.>>First pitch in for a ball to Dana Hedlund.>>I think if you’re in the outfield right now because the wind has picked up, I think your first step needs to be back.>>Fouled off to the left side. Let me get this straight. Bailey Davis had the hit in the second but was replaced in the game to run by Waterbury as a pinch runner. Thank you. I got people straightening us out to get this right.>>You have to.>>You need lots of eyes on this. The 1-1, fouled down the line. Cooper gets ahead now of Dana Hedlund.>>And good job by Hedlund trying to hit the ball to the right side. If you can get the ball over, you’ll advance the runner to third.>>The 1-2, hit on the ground towards the first baseman,picked up by Walleser.>>Just as good as a bunt to move the runner.>>To the right side, away from the play. Good fundamental baseball. If you’re a fun fan watching, you could learn a lot from this Akron-Westfield team, the way they put the ball in play and run the bases. El Jordan Hansen pulls back on the bunt, the team leader in RBIs with 52, playing left field today, looks at the grid. Got a runner at third. That’s Bailey Davis. The wind howls, it’s 2-0.>>They are really shifting over on the left side, starts up Darling is looking for the sign with the catcher, Heiderscheit, she’s shifting way over in the hole leaving a gap in the middle.>>You can hear the wind, we’re getting dust swirls, you can see the flag in the background flowing to the northeast. Line shot into left! It’s going to get by the left fielder! Nicole Vinson, one run will score, Bailey Davis and Jordan Hansen smacks a double and ties this game at 1-1.>>that’s what a veteran team does, they bounce right back, in their half of the inning. A couple hits back to back to push the run across, a good piece of hitting in between the hits to move the runners along.>>Davis thought for a moment, she saw it wasn’t going to get reeled in and just jogged to first. Off the pitch, in for a strike to Bethany Eastman.>>That’s smart base running, wait on third base until you know if it’s caught. Don’t take the chance and try to cheat and get the extra step headed towards home.>>The 1-1, chopped on right in front of the plate. Fielded by Heiderscheit. Down to Walleser, across to third, no play there but the out is recorded. And Hansen goes to third on the play.>>That shows how good Heiderscheit is behind the plate. Just hops right up, pounces on that ball and makes a good strong throw, gets out away from the runner so she can have a good throwing lane, see how quickly she gets out of the crouch and gets clear to make a good throw.>>You can’t rely that — you don’t want to rely on lollipopping over the runner, you don’t want to it had the runner. As I mentioned, take the fly step, give yourself an opportunity or throwing lane to make the play. Yet another change here. Sarah Schroeder is going to bat. Hansen stays at third, she had the RBI double to tie it. First pitched looked at for a ball. 1-1 is the score. Kendra Cooper, 8th grader on the mound. Dropped in right field, the run will score. Hansen was running on contact any, ball dropped by Meyer in right field, 2-1 Westerners. Here is that shot again. It got the glove turned around.>>That ball is dancing up in it the wind. Meyer had a bead but not the glove in the right position to make the catch.>>They are going to call that an error. It’s now 2-1. The scoreboard is incorrect. Unless I missed a run. I have 2.>>I have 2, and I think the umpire has 2 and went to the scoreboard and was talking to them to get it changed.>>We’ll show you the highlights if we need to. 2-1, top of the order, Kayly Tindall, the ball gets past the center fielder. Colsch. Danika is going to score, Danika Tindall, courtesy runner, now it’s 3-1.>>They set her in motion on the first pitch, a great jump. That ball sails and Colsch goes all the way to the fence, allowing Tindall to come in standing up.>>To show how quickly the game changes, Kee felt the game was in their corner, when they get the run. Two outs, a 3-1 ball game.>>Again, I go back to the fact that Akron-Westfield has been their, not many games have they been down but they got down in this ball game but bounce the right back in their half of the inning and added some insurance runs.>>Tindall at the plate, her sister Danika scored a run. It’s a a 1-0 pitch. Popped up. Always an adventure in this wind, it’s going to drop in front of Colsch in center field and the Westerners have another run aboard.>>On a normal day, that is a can of corn, an easy fly ball to center field. This gets hung up, all the fielder are baffled by what the wind is doing out there. It’s just like a golfer, you throw grass up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and this is swirling. I think they are having a hard time reading the ball when it gets up in the air.>>Jordan Neubrand is going to run. A 1-1 count now. 3-1, Akron-Westfield leads. We’re in the top of the fourth. The the ball is lifted behind the plate, the normal shortstop spot for another hit and the Westerners are just connecting and putting it where they want.>>That change-up hung up a little bit. That allowed Johnson to get the bat on it and dump it into left field. You can see the infield is drawn in, that one just throats floats, falls on the dirt in front of the outfield grass.>>That’s a drawback of bringing the infield in, you leave yourself exposed in the shortstop area.>>The advantage goes to the hitter.>>At the plate, Courtney Hedlund, 0-2, a huge play in the third inning by Molly Walleser. Two outs, she ropes it over the head of the center fielder, it’s going to bounce to the fence, one run will score, here comes another. It’s going to be — she’s out at second as the ball came in behind. She rounded the bag just a little bit too hard. But they are going to say only one run is going to score.>>I think that’s — yes.>>One run will count. The second run they will say does not count. It will be a 4-1 contest. That means Neubrand’s, her run will count. Johnson didn’t score in time for the run to count. You see the umpire make the call there.>>He was right on top of it as the out was called at second base, he pointed to the official scorers, and said only one run.>>Let’s watch that out again. Here is the hit by Hedlund. She roped it, rounded second, the ball came in behind her and the tag was made, a great play by Kayly Darling, right on the hip for the third out of the inning. However — one run scores, the Westerners score four. And coming up after this half inning we’ll be talking with head coach Todd Colt, Brent Blum looking for story lines, he’s got a nose for news. Lots of stories at this tournament when you have great teams. First pitch is lined back up into center field, Val Meyer, the junior, we’re down 4-1, no big deal and opens with the first hit, the no hitter is broken up of Kayla Tindall on the hit by Val Meyer. Nice piece of hitting up the middle there.>>Good job, and being aggressive coming after the first pitch after an inning with you gave up four runs, get right back, be aggressive and swing away.>>Courtney Cooper, the freshman, plays third base, swings and misses at the first pitch. Falls behind 0-1.>>A little off-speed pitch. Had her out in front. The hitters from Kee are on their toes ready to swing to get back into the ball game in this inning.>>Swung on, lifted high in the air. It’s going to be off the glove of the center fielder, Katie Johnson. Ball comes in to third base. Standing at first is Courtney Cooper with a base hit, two on, nobody out here in the bottom of the fourth.>>Meyer had to hold up because she thought that ball was going to be caught. That ball gets up into the jetstream as well, you can see Meyer went halfway and then started going back to first, and then had to retreat and turn around and go back to second. So otherwise, it would have been a rope, a line drive, she might have been standing on third base but they have something going in their half of the inning.>>They will say that’s an error charged to Katie Johnson. Now we’ve had three errors by both teams in this championship game. The first pitch to Heiderscheit is a ball.>>Well, in tough conditions. I mean, it’s tough scoring to call hit or error, but it’s tough conditions out there for these players.>>You can see that tent in the background in right field was flapping pretty hard. Anytime you go to the wide shot you get a sense of how windy as as the pitch to Heiderscheit is inside for a ball. 2-1. Never say die, Kee High. Their motto, we believe if you see the wind, that flag is just off the first base here, Harlan Rogers complex in Fort Dodge. Swung on in the air, it’s an adventure, it’s into the glove of Johnson, tagging up from second to third. A good piece of base running by the Hawks.>>Good job by Meyer because nobody was covering third and that allowed Cooper to get into second.>>All right. Coach Holt, he was saying — he was asking if Val Meyer left early and then Cooper advanced on the play as the Westerners were looking to make the argument. That’s a good coaching move. All you have to do is ask. They will tell you. You ask, the worst they can say is no.>>I think it was very close. I was trying to keep an eye on that situation, very close from when the ball was caught to when she left second base. So a good try by Coach Colt to just ask and see.>>We have the advantage of being able to watch on replay. The umpires see it once, and have to listen to us talk about it after that. 4-1 Akron leads, but Kee is threatening. Pop-up goes right to the shortstop. Courtney Hedlund makes the stop and now there’s two outs with two on here in the bottom of the fourth.>>Walleser got jammed and couldn’t do anything with that pitch. Got it inside on the hands and she just popped it up in in the infield.>>Second out of the inning. Chloe Severson had a hit back in the third or got on base. It wasn’t a hit. Those were errors. Fielder’s choice is what happened there. Severson looks at a ball, low. Val Meyer at third. Courtney Cooper at second. Two out here, bottom of the fourth. The 8th grader, one of two on the Kee squad. Ground ball to third. Fielded, thrown out, Davis to Eastman, the Hawks leave two. Threaten but don’t score.>>You have to like the grit of this team, the way they came out in that inning, aggressive, got runners in scoring position, put some pressure on, couldn’t score.>>Let’s go over to Brent Blum.>>4-4 in the top half, pulled it off in the second half.>>The defensive half was more important. I’m pleased with the way we battled back.>>I’m not surprised that’s what he said.>>He’s about the defense and having a clean game and making sure that they don’t make errors because one mistake can lead to a second, and that could cost a ball game. Doesn’t matter how many runs you score have you have errors that let a team back in. It could cost a state championship.>>He’s been here before. We talked about Akron, going for their sixth state title today. They have won 53 straight. I don’t think that’s really brought up or discussed. They know it. They are not fools. You just don’t make a big deal about it.>>I asked him, do you have a youth program? How do you build this program?>>Here is how Kee got here, we have a new pitcher in the ball game for Kee. We’ll make a change. Courtney Cooper will be the pitcher and we’ll put the 8th grade Kendra Cooper at third base. Coach Hill trying to make a change here. Changed the mojo of the ball game as the Westerners have a hit. Courtney is the cousin of Kendra, the second pitch goes over high for a ball. 1-1 as Desi Oltmanns bats for the westernest.>>Trying to give them a little bit different look, see if they can keep hitters off ball. They want to keep them in check right here.>>Softball is different than baseball. You don’t go and change the pitcher as often.>>Oltmanns lifted in the air, over her head. Ball at second, close play, it’s going to be a safe call. Oltmanns in with a double.>>Colsch is having a tough day in center field. That’s simply because of the wind. And that ball was laced right over the top of her head. It looks now like Oltmanns is hurt on that slide. I think she calls for time right away and then you can see that she goes to the ground.>>She’s standing there, kind of in a catcher’s position. Let’s see if we can get a look at what happened, the head-first slide.>>She might have jammed that.>>Looks like she hit the shoulder of Kayly Darling, like a football play. Now she will have dust in her eyes with the gust of wind. Courtney Cooper, ERA 1.91, comes in relief, gives up a double and faces Bailey Davis who is 2 for 2 today.>>And that pitch is a ball. 4-9-for the Westerners. Kee not ranked coming in. The pitch is a called strike. You can make an argument key should have have been ranked. We don’t make the ranks, we just report them. Kee has not lost to a 1-A team. They played a squad which had not lost. Kee’s schedule, four teams that played games at the state tournament. The pitch from Cooper is bounced in for a ball. West Delaware, two games center point urbana, Kee played against Benton, number one in 4-A, cedar falls a 5-A squad and Waterloo west, a 5-A squad. To Kendra, over to Walleser for the out. Davis stays at second though.>>Cooper did a good job handling that ball, held the runner close, and throws across the diamond to get the out.>>One away in the top of the fifth. Batting is Dana Hedlund, hit by a pitch and popped out. She has a called strike there.>>They tried to bunt, as the defense moves Cooper was charging in, Darling was going back to second base, third base was wide open. You might see them try that again.>>Anything possible. Wow! Cooper is standing 15 feet away. The ball gets away from Heiderscheit. The runner is going to get over to third. Desi Oltmanns. So now that kind of changes your play.>>Yeah, you got that runner, now 60 feet away. Heiderscheit needs to do a good job of keeping every everything in front of her, if the ball is in the dirt she needs to smother it and not allow that run to come in.>>The ball is fouled off. The count will go 1-2. One out here. Top of the fifth.>>And Coach Colt knew he had the play on. I think they are going to — it was safety squeeze or squeeze but he kicked the dirt.>>The catch is made by the shortstop, Kayly Darling, great hustle. She’s going to may at the next level, as you mentioned, Laura. She’s going to play basketball. Why Rochester tech? Because she wanted me to play basketball. She was thrilled for the opportunity. How can you not be?>>If you have the opportunity to continue your career in which ever chosen sport, and most of these gals are multiple sport athletes, it doesn’t matter which one, if you can continue your career in college it is truly a thrill. So good for her that she’s going to be able to play basketball.>>Jordan Hansen fouls it off. Hansen with a big hit to get the rally started. She drove in the game’s first run for the Westerners and she hit in Bailey Davis and then Hansen would score on a crazy play later in that inning. Akron got all four runs in the fourth. Threatening here in the fifth. Two outs, one on. Hansen, the pitch. Swung on and missed, 2-2.>>I think a little momentum might go back to Kee if they can get out of this inning without giving up a run keeping it at 4-1.>>Lined past the third base, off the glove of Cooper into left field and that run will score, Oltmanns touching the plate to make it 5-1.>>That was a shot to third base. That’s why they call it the hot corner. Cooper right there in good position, but it was to her so quickly she couldn’t get the glove down and get it in ready position to be able to field that line drive.>>Going on contact. Now Bethany Eastman playing first base today. The 1-0 pitch is outside for 2-0. Akron now leads 5-1. Bethany Eastman 0-2, batting .329 on the season. That’s quite stats can be deceiving. When you’re asked to bunt, slap, sacrifice, sacrifice doesn’t count on your average.>>Well, it is — you’ve got a lot of opportunities when you’re at the plate, you just have to do what the coach is asking you to do to help your team win and so even though you might be a home run hitter, if the situation calls for you to lay down a bunt, you go the to do it, what’s best for the team. That’s what both teams do so well. They all play together as a team. They are not in it for themselves. They do whatever their coach asks of them. They do whatever their teammates want them to do and that’s why these two are playing for the title.>>Bethany Eastman draws the walk. Coming in to pinch hit is Ryleigh Schnell. Let’s listen in to Coach Colt.>>7 for 24.>>Yeah.>>It’s a lot to get through. I’d like to hear that again just for the sake of — you know, the umpires know that’s going to happen. They are trying to keep the score card too. Ryleigh Schnell, who was in –>>13 was in.>>You took her out.>>We’re going to reenter. Yeah, she’s reentering. Right there.>>Did you get that?>>Boy, I’ve got that Schnell is reentering but the umpire — he had to look at his lineup card for quite a while.>>I’ll tell you, yesterday in that semifinal game against martensdale, St. Mary’s, I’m sure you made 20 offensive and defensive changes. Schnell bats with two outs in the fifth. First pitch a strike. Schnell is a junior. The offspeed pitch bounces in front of her. Hansen at second, Eastman at first. Cooper fielded in fair territory, steps on the back at third to get Jordan Hansen out to end the inning.>>All we have to do is say Hansen and Cooper and we’re good.>>Or Tindall. Or Hedlund. 5-1 is the score as we go to the bottom of the fifth.>>Kee has their work cut out for them, but they are a team that has played relaxed, played without fear all tournament long. Here is an opportunity for them to get the MOMENTUM going back on their side. Get key hits and push across some runs against Tindall, who had a nice performance here today.>>Time to stretch here in Fort Dodge as we’re at the 7th inning stretch. 5-1, 5-10-3 for Akron-Westfield, 1-1-3 for Kee High. Enjoy Iptv sports everywhere you go, follow us on facebook and twitter and use that hash tag or tweet us, as you get a look inside the dugout. Fans posting pictures, I’ve seen quite a few selfies this week. Laura, I haven’t seen you take one yet.>>I will, at the end of the night.>>End of the night, mark that down, everybody.>>End of the night after five great games of softball.>>And we hope it’s not morning.>>Yeah.>>When we finish. We were here last night until 12:22, the final 3-A game wrapped up and back at it her at 10:00 a.m. Talk about the crew, the grounds crew, the 3 1/2 hour rain day. First called off because of lightning and got the tarps before the heavy rain but there was ponding in front of the dugouts. They had more rain after 2 a.m. There’s a consolation game going on east of us here. The crew able to get the field in condition which is no small task. There were no more than — no less than 20 guys and gals working to clear that field last night and then this morning.>>I’m not sure how many bags of diamond dry they went through but they went through a ton, out here raking and shoveling, they were spreading that diamond dry and had this field in fantastic condition.>>They already plan to tarp the field before championship games because they want to make sure. Colsch swings and misses for the inning’s first out in the bottom of the fifth. They tarp the field. A couple years ago they had a Wednesday night where they got 8 inches of rain in Fort Dodge, and Thursday night they had 7 inches of rain, 15 inches over two days, only a 30-minute delay on championship Friday. This field can take water and the crew knows how to take care of it when it does fall.>>I think that’s why the girls like coming up here. They do such a great job. They know how to get this field and all these fields ready for tournament play, specifically the championship day and this is always a great grounds crew and that’s why they continue to have it up here at Harlan Rogers field.>>The first time they held the spring championships up here was 1970. And it’s been a great partnership since then, if you ask both sides. Harlan and Hazel Rogers were farmers, had the land, wanted to see a complex built, donated the field we’re on. More was donated later. That’s going to drop in front of Johnson. She’s going to go to second. Ellie Cooper. Good heads-up base running on a single that she stretches into two. Take a look at this one. Anytime the ball goes into the air, it’s an adventure but that’s a hit, if it’s windy or not. And Cooper, Ellie just hesitated, put the head down and the ball got away from the cutoff and then she’s on with a hit. And an error.>>You got to make sure when the ball gets to you in the out field you hit your cutoff to get the ball back into the infield. And smart base runners like Cooper will take advantage if you don’t.>>Kayly Darling, the shortstop, is 0 for 2 today, trying to keep that streak alive here. She looks at a strike, the ball on the ground towards short. It appears to be that’s what she was trying to do.>>She stumbled a little bit as she got out of the crouch ready to throw to second. Hedlund stumbles, it went into the ground and trickeled to second base.>>The plate was dirty from the previous play. Runner at first, Ellie Cooper, the sophomore now still playing second base, her sister Kendra did start the game at pitcher and now is playing third as her cousin, Courtney, is pitching. That’s the third strike on Kaylee Darling, that messed up Darling’s timing and she strikes out for the second inning, Tindall struck out two batters in this inning.>>A nice job of really making sure that these hitters are off balance, doing a nice job of mixing things up as far as speed and location.>>Coming up here, we’ll show you how we got to this point, how we scored five runs. And one run, Akron leads 5-1. In case you’re just tuning in, watching online at Iptv.org or over the air, we’re glad you’re spending your Friday with us. Hit back to the pitcher, Cooper is retired.>>She made it closer than it should have been. She was going to make sure she got the ball over to first base for the out, and Cooper was really digging to get there.>>Let’s find out how we got to this point, as we take a look at your first part of the game highlights, Kee got it going, it was a couple errors, they didn’t have a hit in the inning but they were able to score on a courtesy runner there by Dibert, and then Akron-Westfield, the very next inning, comes through with some huge hitting. Started with Bailey Davis and Jordan Hansen scored. And then there’s going to be a throw and Schroeder is just going to keep running and she scores on the three-base error and kept running. And then she’s thrown off. That was a hard one to keep up with too. And then in the fifth, Desi Oltmanns has a nice hit, Desi scored on the nice hit by Jordan Hansen, so Hansen with two RBIs in this game. Akron has a 5-1 lead as we go to the top of the sixth.>>A nice start, right off at the top of the order, so looking for a few more insurance runs.>>The pitch from Courtney Cooper who comes back in for her second inning of work. Low for a ball. 1-0. The pitch on the way to Tindall, popped up, right side. Between second and right, it’s going to be just in front of Valerie Meyer, and Tindall is going to be at second base. On a hit with an error.>>Normally you don’t like to put the ball up, pop it up in the air, but as we said, it is certainly every time it goes up there — it’s anybody’s guess as to where the ball will end up.>>Neubrand comes in to be the courtesy runner. It’s ruled a double. Make starting to take the wind into consideration and they are scoring.>>That one was certainly a base hit.>>It was a hit, yeah.>>And then it did sneak by, as Colsch could not get over to back up in time. All the way to the wall, therefore Tindall goes sliding into second.>>Katie Johnson fouls the bunt off. There’s no coasting for coach Todd Colt. We mentioned he’s the golf coach, all the athletic director, teaches math, used to be the baseball coach at Akron up until 1993 when his oldest daughter was in second grade and I coached second great softball.>>He said, talk about the transition from high school baseball to teaching second graders how to play softball. There’s quite a transition. But he built the program that way.>>Katie Johnson puts the ball in play. Makes the catch. Jordan Colsch in center field to retire Johnson and Tindall cannot advance, I’m sorry, that’s Neubrand running for Tindall at second. What Coach Colt total us, they didn’t have a youth program in either of the communities and he started the youth program, and benefited from that work that began in 1993.>>He did. He started from the ground up, with that youth program, with his daughter, and then continued to get it to grow, and then I believe when she became a freshman he took over as head coach here. So the story writes itself from that point. When he got here, he had all the parts in place, and now he just is continuing to reload each and every year.>>The pitch from Cooper over the head of Heiderscheit, moving up is Neubrand to third. One out, runner at third, 3-0 count to Courtney Hedlund.>>You do have to play the infield in. You want to try to cut that runner down at the plate.>>The pitch from Kee’s Cooper, in there for a strike. I get the sense this is not the last time we see these two teams at state.>>I would agree.>>You could make the case in the championship game, if the brackets work out. Liner to left field, nice hit by Courtney Hedlund, rips one to drive in another run, Neubrand scores, 6-1 Westerners.>>The ball was up in the zone, she was able to get the hands out, the fat part of the bat out in front and drill it to left field.>>The junior, Desi Oltmanns, will step in. The Westerners leading 6-1. Ground ball, hit foul. Akron and Westfield are the two towns that make up this school. Akron is where they play. Westfield is the farthest west town in Iowa. Kee plays their games in Lansing, which is one of the farthest east towns in Iowa, on the north side. Key used to be called Kee of Lansing, now it’s just Kee as Lansing and new Albans are together. They have a new field at Kee, a lot of girls helped lay sod, build beachers, volunteer, and they think that made a big difference in ownership of the program, mentality, turning the page, whenever you want to use, to allow Kee to be in this situation. They trail 6-1 as the Westerners are threatening, coming around to score is Hedlund. She touches the plate for the game’s 7th run for Akron-Westfield. On a double by Oltmanns, another great piece of hitting. She’s choked up on the bat and gets the wrist out there and laces it in the gap.>>The coach is waving her around. He was just as excited as runners and hitters, waving her immediately as that ball got out to the gap.>>At bat now is Bailey Davis. The freshman. Pretty sure we’ll see Bailey Davis again.>>I think you’re going to — We’ve talked about the programs now, Akron-Westfield program pretty much set in stone. They keep reloading and bringing in players from the youth program. Key just started to build. They got the good coaching staff, a good core of young ninth graders and freshmen. You’ll see both teams make noise over the next few years.>>The pitch is a bunt, the play comes home, safe, not in time. They are going back behind at first to try to get Davis and she’s safe, but Davis gets the run home. On the fielder’s choice. Here she laid that bunt down, again a great piece of hitting, all the way back to Cooper but she just couldn’t get it flicked in time. I don’t think they would have had her, even on a good throw.>>It would have been really close, but it was a great bunt, and what Davis had to do, that ball was low down around her knees, she had to go down low.>>Let’s listen in to Coach Colt. He’s a man of few words, I’ve always said that. When we told him we were going to mic him up, and Liz is out talking to Coach Hill with her group. She’s telling him to calm down.>>I think at this point you just have to — you can just see she’s a very emotional coach and her players play off of that. She gets as excited as her teammates do.>>Hill’s conference is done in the circle. It was the entire team that was there. One out here in the sixth. Akron-Westfield leads 8-1. Three runs scored in the sixth by the Westerners. Batting now is Dana Hedlund. She’s a bunt, pulls it back. They all show bunt and pull it back and still can hit it to the fence.>>I think a lot of times you do see players and coaches that show the bunt. It helps maybe get the timing down. You can see the pitcher. You have both eyes on the pitcher instead of standing with the one eye maybe looking at them.>>She lays the bunt down, it goes foul.>>It gives you options, if you can handle the bat really well, you can see what the defense is doing and how they are shifting, you can lay it down, swing away, slap? That’s what a lot of Akron-Westfield players can do, they get the bat out, see what the defense is doing.>>Hedlund swings, a fair ball down the third base line. Nice piece of hitting by the northwestern recruit, Dana Hedlund. Now runners at first and second. She just flat out got in front of it, right behind the bag. Vinson gets it back in but that leaves the runners at first and second. Hedlund will go to Northwestern. She was on the golf team. Kayla Tindall will also go to Northwestern.>>A nice pick up for them. They have a lot of incoming freshmen coming into the program but they have two good ones right here that are going to step in and play for them next year.>>Northwestern does well, if you go back to basketball, Laura, ask anybody, unity Christian, or western Christian, it’s like a reunion.>>It’s a great school, it’s close enough, yet far enough away. You can get a little distance, sometimes a lot of young ladies, a lot of young kids, like to stay close to home but also like to have a little separation when they go to college but still like to bring the laundry home and have Sunday night dinner at home.>>I never did that.>>I did.>>Okay.>>Who am I kidding? Well, you were in town.>>That’s what I said.>>Went to Drake. I was 45 minutes away. Laundry was more work. I had to learn how to did it quicker. Hit behind the first baseman fielded and caught by Valerie Meyer for the second out of the inning. This will be the eighth Westerner to come to the plate in this sixth inning.>>A couple innings where sent eight players, this is the second inning they have sent eight hitters to the plate.>>Eastman made a play in the quarterfinal game. She did the flip to get the ball at first base. When I was talking to Coach Colt after the game, asking about, what they do, he said Bethany is in dance, that’s why she can do the split.>>You have to have the ability. You have to shuffle your feet at first, stretch sometimes, to save your other fielders, and that’s why you want a good athlete that knows how to be quick on their feet over there at first base.>>Second strike in there to even the count at two balls, two balls. Two out. Eastman, swung on and fouled out of play. We’ll do it again. 8-1, three more runs have come for the Westerners in this sixth inning. Looking to score some more. Change-up, going to be hit for the shortstop, over to third for the force out and they get it. The play goes Darling to Cooper. The traditional 6-5 put-out.>>Smart play though. That’s the only play she had. I don’t think she could have thrown across the diamond.>>A slow roller, Darling stepped up, shuffled it over, gets the play at third and we go to the bottom of the sixth. Enjoy all that the Iowa state fair has to offer with Iowa public television, watch fair highlights August 11-16, at 9:00, see Clifford the big red dog and join us for IPtv day. That’s Iowa public television at the Iowa state fair.>>I can’t wait. I love the state fair.>>You want to do some stories for us?>>We’ll talk later. I’ll find some stories.>>We’ll have a conversation in a few days. We get back to it here in the bottom of the sixth, first pitch to Val Meyer for a ball. One for two in this game. Had a hit in the fourth. Kee was threatening. Hit over to third, Bailey Davis up and over for the out to Eastman to get the first out of the sixth inning for the Kee Hawks.>>Right now I think Tindall feels like she’s in control of the ball game, and really pitching with a lot of ease and confidence.>>First pitch in the dirt to Cooper. This is Courtney who is now the pitcher, the red hair hanging out of the back of the helmet. Swung on and missed. When she connects, she send the ball flying. Kee left five on. They got a run in the third in with errors, Akron has not opened up the door much.>>You saw when they scored that first run of the ball game, you thought maybe that momentum might shift to their side and they might hang on but as we talked about this Akron-Westfield team has been here 11 of the last 12 years, they know what they are supposed to do. That one run was not as daunting as it may be to other teams and they bounced back and had a huge answer in their half of that inning. Sometimes you get into a state tournament game and whoever scores that first run, they are able to hang on because then the other team starts pressing. There’s only one run. And you get into a mindset, we’ve got to get that back right away and start making some mistakes. But not this Akron-Westfield team.>>Cooper stands in, strikes out as the pitch is high. It’s a tough pitch to lay off when it’s up in the eyes like that. That’s her sixth strikeout of the game for Kayla Tindall. Second time striking out Courtney.>>She keeps dealing and kept going up the ladder. You’re right. When the ball is in your eyes, you see it at that level, you want to swing away at it. Sometimes it’s tough to catch up to it.>>If you’re a coach, in the state, do you pick up the phone when Liz Hill calls and wants to schedule her Kee team with you next year?>>You might make her call you a few times before you make that decision. You might want to think about it a little bit. Why not? You might as well play good competition. Yeah, if she says, hey, let’s do a doubled header or meet, your place, our place, however you want to do it, why not go up against a team and get some experience for your team as well?>>That’s true for any squad. You could look at the teams playing today, look at their schedule, we’ll talk about it in the other games, Laura and I will be back for 3-A and 5-A, Eric and Molly will have 2-A and 4-A, you look at the squads, every team played this competition all year, and a program all the time.>>We’ve talked to the coaches about that, as far as scheduling, they said to be the best you got to beat the best and play the best and that’s why they schedule as tough as they do.>>Or schedule as many as they can. This is Kee’s 39th game. You’re allowed 40. That will be another hit. Heiderscheit on base for the first time today.>>If you’re a center fielder, you don’t know where to position yourself. Regular depth, by the fence? It’s just a tough day to play center field.>>If you’re on the other diamond warming up, are you hitting the ball in the air to get your fielders –>>Absolutely, you’re practicing getting the ball up in the wind.>>Hard hit by Walleser, over to third. To Eastman, the third out of the game is retired. The third out of the sixth. Let’s take a look at the dealings as you would say that Kayla Tindall has done today. Kayla is a good pitcher. Struck out, struck out, struck out, six strikeouts today and just up, down, out, a pitching coach’s success story right there. That’s what you’re calling it, trying to call it.>>Yeah, and a lot depends on how the pitcher does pitch in a ball game, what the coaches call, both coaches called the pitches, so they have to execute.>>There’s Tindall right there. And not only is she pretty good at pitching, she’s not bad at batting either. 13 doubles on the season. She’s had another double today, so 14 for her, bathing .465 coming into this contest. That’s a pretty darn good player they are going to get at Northwestern in the fall. She’s also a farm girl, her and her sister do chores before they come in. They have not been to the state fair. I asked if they showed their animals, they said no. I’m getting softball gets in the way of the county fair.>>It’s a summer sport in Iowa. There’s some decisions that have to be made, and these programs that are so good, year in and year out, they have the dedication to their school, and to their program, other things have to be put on the sidelines.>>Schnell, Ryleigh Schnell now batting for the second time today. Digs in and looks at another ball in the zone as Courtney Cooper is back on the mound. I don’t think Kendra Cooper’s pitching career is over after today’s performance. She will be back. We’ll see Kendra and Courtney for Kee. If you play them next year you’ll see them both.>>If you look at Kendra Cooper, 161 strikeouts, Courtney Cooper 144 strikeouts, that’s a good pitching duo, freshman and 8th grader, a one-two tandem for the next few years for Kee.>>More changes coming for the Westerners. I’m thinking if you’re Courtney Cooper, you have to be ready to play but she thought Kendra would have a game where it would be hers the whole time. She’s getting state tournament appearance, it’s going to help her in the long run. Yes, her team is down 8-1.>>Well, experience. You chalk it up to experience.>>We have a courtesy runner. It’s Brynn VanEldik, another 8th grader getting her first state tournament action. That’s, yes, a scoring nightmare to keep track of courtesy runners and pinch runners, reentry. But it’s how you build your program for the long run. The pitch from Cooper comes in, swung at and missed. The steal, and now VanEldik will get a stolen base in the score book.>>They don’t let up. They continue to put the pressure on, and VanEldik just goes right with the pitch and Heiderscheit hesitated, clutched a little bit before she threw. She’s got a great arm behind the plate but double clutched before she let go of the throw.>>Comebacker to Cooper, back over to first, they will try to get the play at third but Walleser’s throw is just a little bit late.>>A good job of looking that runner back, didn’t hold her long enough but did get the out. And they just could not get VanEldik, who is sprinting from second to third.>>Katie Johnson will come in. The bunt is laid down and it’s going to go foul. One out here in the top of the 7th, the one thing, it’s a coin flip before the game to determine who is the home team. And Coach Colt likes to set the tone and be the visitor. He doesn’t even like being the home team at home.>>You know, he likes to be able to put his team out there, try to score some runs early, and then turn it over to his defense and his pitching.>>Johnson shows bunt, pulling it back and goes high. Did she offer? No. I thought she held out for the swing but did not. The Westerners are on a streak of going 184-6.>>Pretty impressive.>>53 straight. Five outs from their back-to-back state championships. Now we have the check at third. So now –>>You asked. You said did she offer at that pitch. There was some conversation. They finally said will you ask first base and he said yes, she went.>>Sometimes I think I’m seeing things. But then it doesn’t matter as Johnson pokes it into right, scoring the run. Johnson with an RBI, another piece of hitting between the hole of first and second, right into right. It doesn’t have to be hard, it has to get down.>>She’s been able to do that, put the ball between first and second base.>>Now Courtney Hedlund, the junior, the shortstop. Courtney struck out in the first. Popped out to the first baseman in the third. A single and RBI in the sixth. She bats in the seventh. Her team up 9-1, stealing, the throw to second not in time, a stolen base for Katie Johnson.>>The ball gets away, but Johnson not able to advance to third. Even though Akron is up by 8 runs, they are going to continue to play their style of softball, running the base paths, bunting, running, hit and run, do whatever they need to do, and they are not going to let up just because they are up 8 runs.>>Courtney Hedlund, one ball, one strike, fouled off out of play. Now the sun is kind of under, we have a little more of an overcast. There’s a chance of rain today.>>They don’t like to hear that.>>Neither do we. Long rain day last night. These teams were back in their heads. Done playing almost by noon yesterday. Well, by 2:00. Fouled off towards the right field area

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