Only four schools in Iowa have won more state softball titles than Akron-Westfield. The Westerners played for their fifth title since '05, all under head coach Todd Colt. Akron-Westfield, 36-2, big favorites over No. 10 New London.
There were almost as many errors, 12, as hits, 13 in this game.
New London jumped on top with four runs in the second inning. Two runs came on double steals while two more scored on wild pitches. Akron-Westfield made five errors in the inning and trailed 4-0.
The Westerners started the comeback in the fifth. Sarah Schroeder grounded to the pitcher who threw it away allowing Danika Tindall scores to pull A-W within 4-1.
Akron-Westfield would gets three more in the sixth highlighted by Jordan Hansen's double down the left field line, scoring Jessica Hansen to make it 4-3.
Then, with two outs, Schroeder grounded the shortstop, who couldn't field it. Hansen tried to score on the play but looked out by a mile. However, the catcher dropped the ball and she was ruled safe on a controversial call. After some discussion, the umps called her safe and the game was tied at four.
Still 4-4 in the top of the seventh, with Jaclyn Smith representing the go-ahead run on second, 8th-grader Bailey Davis singled to center, allowing Smith to score and put Akron-Westfield up 5-4.
Still leading new 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, New London put the tying run on third but Kayla Tindall recorded the strikeout as the Westerners captured the 1A state championship 5-4.
"I've never been involved in a game like that before," said Akron-Westfield head coach Todd Colt. "I don't know how they do it. They're confident. They just get the job done. Sometimes it's not a pretty job but the job is done and I'm proud of them."
"We had a bad inning but we knew we could play tough 'D' and we knew what defense we were here to play," said junior Dana Hedlund. "We just went out there and went back and got it."
"You can't lose hope," said senior Jaclyn Smith. "I knew all the girls were still on the field playing their best so it was going to come out in our way hopefully."
"We knew we could do it," said junior Kayla Tindall. "We got some hits we just had to put them together. It's just amazing. We all stuck together and I'm really proud right now."
Bailey Davis, Dana Hedlund and Kayla Tindall each made the all-tournament team.
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