On Monday evening, both the Algona Bulldogs and the Bishop Garrigan Golden Bears punched their respective tickets to the 2019 State Softball Tournament with region final wins on the road.
The Bulldogs, in a game that lasted long into the night and was at one point delayed by rain, beat Spirit Lake, the region’s No. 2 seed, on the road by a score of 8-3. Algona scored six runs in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie that held since the first inning.
The win capped an impressive performance by the Bulldogs in Class 3A Region 2. In the first round, the Bulldogs beat Estherville-Lincoln Central 2-1 in eight innings. Algona walked off on the Midgets with a dropped third strike that allowed Alyssa Hentges to score.
In the semifinal round, the Bulldogs upset the Humboldt Wildcats, the region’s top seed and 3A’s third-ranked team, 4-2 on the road. The Bulldogs scored all four of their runs with two outs in support of Kam Etherington, who kept the North Central Conference’s top offense in check all game long. Nicole Smidt went 3-4 with two doubles, and RBI, and a run scored.
Monday’s win clinched the Bulldogs’ first-ever trip to the state tournament. At 17-10, Algona is Class 3A’s No. 8 seed and will play top-seeded Davenport Assumption, who enters the state tournament with a record of 38-2 after claiming the Region 1 championship. The two will meet on Monday, July 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at Kruger Seeds Diamond in Fort Dodge. You can view the full bracket HERE (scroll down to Class 3A).
Meanwhile, the Bishop Garrigan Golden Bears, in a game that ended just over one hour after first pitch, also claimed victory, beating AGWSR – Class 1A Region 8’s top overall seed – 1-0 in Ackley. The Golden Bears scored the game’s only run in the first thanks to a two-out double by Emma Fogarty, driving in Mackenzie Meister. Bishop Garrigan had just one baserunner the rest of the game, but one run was enough for Amanda Miller, who allowed just one hit in her seven innings, carrying the Golden Bears to the state tournament with a complete-game shutout of AGWSR. Thanks to a double play, she also faced the minimum 21 batters in her seven innings.
Bishop Garrigan breezed through the region’s first two rounds as the No. 2 seed, beating Northwood-Kensett 11-1 in five innings in the region quarterfinal. The Golden Bears scored in every inning, including pushing four runs across in the fifth inning to end the game early.
In the region semifinal, Bishop Garrigan beat North Butler 5-1. The Golden Bears scored in each of the first three innings behind two-hit days by Miller, Mackenzie Meister, and Gracie Elsbecker. Just as Algona’s Etherington did for the Bulldogs, Bishop Garrigan’s Miller threw every pitch of her team’s run through the region.
The 1-0 win over AGWSR pushed the Golden Bears to the program’s first-ever state tournament. With a record of 29-6, Bishop Garrigan enters the tournament as Class 1A’s sixth seed. At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22nd at the Iowa Central Community College Diamond, the Golden Bears will play No. 3 Clarksville (31-1), who won Region 7. You can view the full bracket HERE.