AVOCA, Iowa — It’s fitting that Treynor and Underwood met each other on Thursday for the Western Iowa Conference softball tournament title.
In the 33rd conference tournament, both programs shared the lead with nine titles heading into the game.
Top-seeded Treynor became the first school to reach double figures, getting a two-hit shutout from Madison Keysor in a 3-0 victory over the second-seeded Eagles at A-H-S-T High School.
Missouri Valley has won the tournament six times, and Griswold and Tri-Center four each. Thursday’s win gave Treynor its fourth tournament crown in five seasons.
“It means it’s a tough conference,’’ Treynor coach JoEllen Travis said. “It goes in waves.”
Defending state champion Treynor, which dropped to second in the Class 2-A state ratings released Thursday by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, improved to 17-3. The Cardinals remain the No. 1 team in The World-Herald’s Class 2-A/1-A western Iowa ratings. Underwood remains No. 3 among the small schools. The WI ratings reflect play through Wednesday.
The championship game featured a pair of strange key plays.
In the top of the fourth of a scoreless game, Underwood loaded the bases with one out on an error and a pair of fielder’s choices Treynor failed to execute.
That brought up Regan Landen, who sent a roller toward first base which started foul. It appeared to be on the first-base line when Emma Fiene picked it up. It initially was ruled a fair ball, as Fiene tagged Landen and Katelynn Dilts apparently scored the game’s first run.
But well after the fact the call was reversed, bringing Landen back to the plate. She struck out, and Shay Tiarks popped out to end the threat.
Underwood coach Skip Yates regretted not calling for a conference with the umpires sooner, but acknowledged that the play didn’t cost his team the game.
“It took the one run off, but one wouldn’t have been enough to beat them,’’ he said. “But you never know where the game would have ended up, either.’’
The other controversy came in the bottom of the fourth. One-out singles by Kaylie Christensen, Lexi Killinger and McKenna Waffle loaded the bases for Gracie Myers.
With two strikes against her, Myers swung at a pitch going right at her. She initially was awarded first base on a hit by a pitch. Then it was changed to a strikeout. After Travis objected, the umpires got together and then ruled it a foul tip. Myers eventually struck out, but a wild pitch on the play allowed Christensen to slide home with the game’s first run.
Treynor added two more in the fifth. Mattie Jacobsen walked, was sacrificed to second by Laura Hempel and scored on Kate Killinger’s RBI single. Courtesy runner Chelsea Cooper took third on Christensen’s single and scored on another wild pitch.
Travis liked the way her team reacted during the chaotic plays.
“We were in some tough situations this game,’’ she said. “Underwood’s a very good team. They hit the ball really well, and we always anticipate that playing them. And they have very good defense.’’
Underwood lost the first meeting with Treynor 8-2, and Yates said his team came out on the wrong end of some controversy there, along with at least one other game this season. But he said that if his team can learn from all of it and stick together, good things await.
Underwood (16-5)......................000 000 0—0 2 1
Treynor (17-3)................................000 120 x—3 6 2
W: Madison Keysor (15-3). L: Katelynn Dilts (13-4).
Missouri Valley 12, Audubon 2 (5 inn.)
AVOCA, Iowa — Baily Janssen finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs, and Hailey Hellstrom added two hits as Missouri Valley finished third with a 12-2, five-inning win in the Western Iowa Conference consolation game.
Audubon pitchers walked 10 and hit two, aiding the Lady Reds’ cause. Eighth-grader Alexis Cook earned the win, making a pair of outstanding defensive plays to help her cause.
Audubon (6-10)..............................200 00—2 4 0
Missouri Valley (7-13)......................302 25—12 7 3
W: Alexis Cook: L: Katie Porsch. 2B: A, Marissa Haubrich, Kasey Porsch; MV, Kyra Skelton.
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