Akron-Westfield and Newell-Fonda won their opening round games in the Class 1A state softball tournament on Monday.
Top-ranked Akron-Westfield used small ball to beat unranked Janesville in the opening round of the Class 1A state softball tournament, 9-7, Monday at Harlan Rogers Park.
The Westerners (35-2) scored six of their nine runs on squeeze plays, providing enough of a cushion to hold off a pair of three-run Wildcat rallies in the state debut for Janesville's softball program.
The squeeze play helped Akron-Westfield take control as it needed just three hits to score four runs and jump out to a 7-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Janesville answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Akron-Westfield manufactured two more runs heading into the seventh inning.
The game was far from clean with each team committing five errors and the two squads combining for 21 hits. Only one team, Class 4A's LeMars, has scored more runs against 2011 state champion Akron-Westfield all season.
The Westerners play #5 Don Bosco (33-8) on Thursday in the 1A semifinals at 11:00 AM.
Fourth-ranked Newell-Fonda beat #8 Remsen St. Mary's, 14-1, in four innings in round one of the Class 1A state softball tournament on Monday.
The Mustangs scored two runs in the first, six runs in the second and three runs in the third and fourth innings, taking advantage of eight Hawks' errors.
Leadoff hitter Renee Maneman scored four runs and had two hits for Newell-Fonda, who scored their 14 runs on 11 hits.
The Mustangs (36-6) will face 10th-ranked New London in the semifinals on Thursday at 11:30 AM. New London beat second-ranked Martensdale-St. Marys 3-2 in their first round game.
Remsen St. Mary's will play #2 Martensdale-St. Marys in the consolation round on Wednesday at noon.
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