Your Prep Sports
No. 3 ADM (25-10) vs. No. 8 Clear Creek Amana (29-9)
Clear Creek Amana had perhaps the most memorable regional final win of any team in the state rallying from a five-run deficit in the bottom of the 11th inning in a 11-10 win over Marion.
The improbable comeback sent Clear Creek Amana to the state tournament for the first time since 2014 where the Clippers are seeking their first quarterfinal win since 2012.
Clear Creek Amana lost three straight and 4-of-5 to close the regular season but responded by scoring 11 runs in back-to-back regional wins.
Sophomore Asley Webb has solidified herself as a legitimate ace this season going 18-6 with a 1.54 ERA and .80 WHIP while striking out 182 in 167 2/3 inning.
The Clear Creek Amana lineup is among the deepest in the Class 4A field.
Seven different Clippers are hitting over .320 this season and seven players have driven in at least 20 runs.
Senior Gabrielle Bedford, junior Bailey Olerich and sophomore Avery Allan lead the way.
Bedford is hitting .412 with six home runs and 39 RBI, Olerich is batting a team-best .478 and leads the Clippers in runs (36) and stolen bases (34) while Allan is hitting .394 with three home runs and 33 RBI.
ADM is back at state for the first time since finishing runner-up in 2018.
The Tigers avenged an 8-0 regular season loss to No. 13 Bondurant-Farrar with a 4-3 win in the regional final.
ADM has navigated a challenging schedule that has featured losses to four Class 5A opponents, including one-run losses to 5A state qualifiers Bettendorf and Fort Dodge.
The Tigers are 5-3 against 4A state qualifiers with wins over top-ranked Winterset, No. 4 Carlisle and North Polk.
No. 1 Winterset (34-7) vs. Oskaloosa (22-14)
The defending 4A champion, Winterset is seeking to become the first 4A champion since Dallas Center-Grimes in 2014 and 2015.
The Huskies have won two of the past four 4A titles and enter with an impressive regular season resume that includes 13 wins against state tournament qualifiers including a 7-1 mark against teams in the 4A field.
Of the seven losses for Winterset, five have come to Class 5A competition with the lone losses to in-class competition coming to third-ranked ADM and No. 7 Dallas Center-Grimes.
Junior Thea Banning is 32-3 with a 1.69 ERA and has struck out 217 in 219 innings.
A loaded lineup features four players with more than four home runs and is led by sophomore Jena Young (.425, 11 HR, 37 RBI) and junior Bridget Stover (.392, 4 HR, 43 RBI).
Oskaloosa returns to the state tournament for the fourth time in the past six seasons after one-run regional wins over sixth-ranked Norwalk and Benton Community.
The Indians were 13-13 on June 24 before winning nine of their next 10 games to return to the state tournament.
Faith DeRonde is 15-6 with a 1.86 ERA and also leads the way with seven home runs and a .363 batting average.
Junior Olivia Gordon is hitting .405 with a team-high 39 RBI while Maleah Walker is batting .423 with 47 runs scored.
No. 4 Carlisle (28-10) vs. No. 5 Boone (26-8)
A state tournament regular in recent season Carlisle is back at state for the fifth time in six seasons seeking a third consecutive trip to the 4A title game.
The defending 4A runner-up, Carlisle won the title in 2019 and was also runner-up in 2016.
This season the Wildcats enter the state tournament riding a six-game winning streak after blanking No. 10 Fairfield 8-0 in the regional final.
Carlisle faced its normal regular season gauntlet with eight of its 10 losses coming to state qualifiers.
The Wildcats are 3-5 against 4A state qualifiers but are 4-3 against state tournament teams from other classes.
Boone is back at state for the first time since 2016 and gets a familiar foe in the first round in Carlisle.
The two teams split a pair of regular season meetings with Boone winning 3-2 on June 14 and Carlisle taking the most recent meeting 3-0 on July 5 in in Carlisle.
Boone outscored a pair of regional opponents by a combined score of 18-0, downing Sergeant Bluff-Luton 12-0 in the regional title game.
Emma Dighton (.602, 13 HR, 38 RBI) leads the way but the Boone lineup features four players with at least three home runs including senior Zoey Hightshoe (.398, 5 HR, 38 RBI).
No. 2 Western Dubuque (32-7) vs. North Polk (18-14)
A couple of teams appearing at the state tournament for the first time in a decade meet in the opening round as Western Dubuque and North Polk both return to Fort Dodge for the first time since 2008.
Western Dubuque is making just its second ever trip to state and seeking its first ever quarterfinal win.
The Bobcats have been impressive this season while facing a largely 5A schedule in the Mississippi Valley Conference and own wins over 5A qualifiers City High and Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
Western Dubuque advanced to state with a 6-3 win over ninth-ranked West Delaware in the regional final.
North Polk is back at state for the first time since winning the Class 2A title in 2008.
The Comets are tied with Oskaloosa for the most losses in the 4A field but those have come against quality teams including eight losses against 4A state qualifiers.
North Polk was 13-14 following a loss to 5A No. 4 Indianola on July 2 but has won five straight since to return to state.
During its five-game winning streak the Comets have wins over 5A Ankeny, two wins over 4A No. 11 Ballard and a 5-2 win over seventh-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes in the regional final.
Clear Creek Amana:Gabrielle Bedford, Sr., SS: The hero in the come-from-behind regional final win Bedford has been the Clippers heart all season hitting .412 while leading the team in doubles (12), home runs (6) and RBI (39).
ADM:Brooke Hickey, Sr., 3B: The biggest threat in a solid Tiger lineup Hickey is hitting a team-high .477 while leading ADM in extra-base hits (26), home runs (14), RBI (40), BB (19) and runs (36).
Winterset:Jena Young, Soph., SS: Even in a loaded Winterset lineup Young stands out hitting .425 with 26 extra-base hits, 11 home runs and 37 RBI and went 3-for-3 with two homers, a triple and six RBI in the regional final.
Oskaloosa:Faith DeRonde, Jr., P: Oskaloosa’s leader in the field or at the plate DeRonde is 15-6 with a 1.86 ERA in 139 1/3 innings and is hitting .363 with a team-high seven home runs and 16 RBI.
Carlisle:Isabelle Noring, Soph., OF: Noring is a versatile piece of the Wildcat lineup hitting .448 with 18 extra-base hits and 39 RBI while leading the team with 39 stolen bases.
Boone:Emma Dighton, Sr., P: Dighton does it all for the Toreadors leading the team with a .602 batting average, 29 extra-base hits, 13 homers, 38 RBI and 36 BB while also going 16-6 with a 1.97 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 138 1.3 innings in the circle.
Western Dubuque:Sydney Kennedy, Sr., P: One of the top all-around talents in 4A Kennedy is hitting .508 with 28 doubles, five home runs and 59 RBI while going to 16-5 with a 1.69 ERA and 184 strikeouts in 136 1/3 innings in the circle.
North Polk:Ava Husak, 8th, P: In an impressive varsity debut season Husak has gone 12-8 with a 1.60 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 118 innings while leading the Comets with a .410 batting average.
Winterset has the favorite trifecta entering as the top-ranked and top-seeded team defending champions.
It’s more than just those things that make the Huskies the favorites to repeat namely a deep and dangerous lineup filled with state tournament experience and a strong and durable pitcher.
Until someone knocks off the Huskies they stay as top dogs.
So far North Polk has done well in the underdog role.
The Comets emerged from a regional that featured a pair of ranked teams, knocking off Ballard and Dallas Center-Grimes to return to the state tournament.
North Polk was winless in eight tries against 4A state qualifiers during the regular season but don’t underestimate an underdog playing well in the postseason.
Clear Creek Amana scuffled a bit down the stretch but a little rest worked wonders for the Clippers who enter the state tournament poised to prove they are among the top teams in 4A.
The Clippers have shown they can compete with the best, posting wins over state tournament qualifiers Williamsburg, Carlisle and Wilton.
Now the Clippers need to prove it on the state’s biggest stage and this Clear Creek Amana team has the right mix of speed, power and pitching to do just that this week in Fort Dodge.
Is it Carlisle and Winterset and then everyone else?
It won’t be another Carlisle vs. Winterset 4A final but the two appear headed for a title game rematch in the semifinals with the winner of that potential matchup the title favorite.
There are teams capable of capable of knocking off the two most recent 4A champions, with Western Dubuque at the top of that list but will they be able to stop Carlisle or Winterset from winning for a third consecutive season.
Five Fast Facts
*– With only two 2020 qualifiers in the state tournament field this season Class features the fewest amount of returning qualifiers. The only teams returning are the top that met in the 2020 final in defending champion Winterset and Carlisle.
*– Boone senior Emma Dighton leads 4A in batting average (.602) ranks fifth in home runs (13) and 15th in ERA (1.97).
*– Western Dubuque senior Sydney Kennedy leads the state in doubles with 28, 10 more than any other player in Class 4A.
*– Clear Creek Amana sophomore Ashley Webb ranks 5th in 4A and second among state tournament participants with a 1.54 ERA.
*– Top-ranked Winterset has committed just 29 errors in 41 games this season, the fewest in Class 4A.
Quarterfinals, July 20
Winterset (34-7) vs. Oskaloosa (22-14), 1 p.m.
Carlisle (28-10) vs. Boone (26-8), 1:30 p.m.
Western Dubuque (32-7) vs. North Polk (18-14), 3 p.m.
ADM (25-10) vs. Clear Creek Amana (29-9), 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals, July 21
Winterset/Oskaloosa winner vs. Carlisle/Boone winner, 3:30 p.m.
Western Dubuque/North Polk winner vs. ADM/Clear Creek Amana winner, 5:30 p.m.
Championship, July 23
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.