Your Prep Sports
No. 6 Van Meter (30-9) vs. No. 4 Regina (20-11)
Regina returns to the state tournament for the second consecutive season looking to renew its previous state tournament magic.
The Regals reached four consecutive 2A championship games from 2015 to 2018, winning titles in 2015 and 2017.
Regina returned to the state tournament for the first time since a title game loss to Louisa-Muscatine in 2018 last year falling to eventual champion North Linn in the quarterfinals.
The Regals have followed a similar format to success as its state finalist teams this season, navigating a challenging regular season schedule filled with teams from larger classes before peaking in the postseason.
Another familiar element to the most recent postseason success for Regina has been strong pitching in the postseason.
Senior Emma Nibaur has posted a .37 ERA in 19 postseason innings, allowing just seven hits and one run while striking out 23 in three regional starts.
The Regina offense has been led by junior Courtney Kessler who is hitting a team-high .412 and leads the Regals with 22 RBI and sophomore Gabby Sueppel who is hitting .376 with 19 RBI.
Van Meter is making its first state tournament appearance since defeating Regina in the 2016 2A title game.
The Bulldogs have been impressive this season, scoring a 2A-leading 371 runs this season while averaging 9.5 runs per game.
Van Meter has won 12 in a row entering the state tournament with seven shutouts in that stretch and like the Regals allowed just one run in three regional wins.
No. 1 Central Springs (31-1) vs. Mount Ayr (17-9)
A state tournament regular for almost a decade top-ranked Central Springs is hoping this season is the breakthrough.
The Panthers are making their eighth consecutive trip to state but have gone just 2-5 in quarterfinals during that stretch reaching the semifinals in 2018 and last season.
A year ago third-seeded Central Springs defeated Underwood 11-0 in the opener before falling to eventual champion North Linn 8-5 in the semifinals.
This year’s Central Springs squad appears to have everything it takes for a long-awaited title run.
The Panthers are first in 2A in batting average (.404) and home runs (34) and average 9.9 runs per game and feature a dominant pitcher in junior Cooper Klaahsen (23-0, .57 ERA).
Central Springs has won 17 in a row since its lone loss of the season to Class 5A Ames on June 17, has posted five consecutive shutouts and allowed a total of one run in its last nine games.
Tasked with slowing down the red-hot Panthers is a Mount Ayr team that hit its stride at the right time in the postseason.
Mount Ayr won its postseason opener 13-1 over Southwest Valley, upset fifth-ranked Interstate 35 4-2 in the semifinals and returned to the state tournament for the third time in the past four years with a 5-1 win over West Central Valley in the regional final.
Seniors Addy Reynolds (.434, 10 HR) and Halsie Barnes (.461, 15 RBI) headline the offensive attack for the Raiders.
No. 3 Logan-Magnolia (28-0) vs. No. 7 Wilton (26-6)
The last remaining unbeaten team in the state Logan-Magnolia will put its unblemished record on the line Tuesday when it hosts Wilton in a 2A quarterfinal.
Logan-Magnolia is making its first trip to Fort Dodge since the fourth of four consecutive appearances from 2015 to 2018 that included a 1A runner-up finish in 2015.
The Panthers advanced to state with a 6-5 win over ninth-ranked West Monona in the regional title game.
Logan-Magnolia is led offensively by senior Erikah Rife (.519, 31 runs), junior Macanna Guritz (.412 BA, 5 HR, 42 RBI) and sophomore Marki Bertelsen (.429 BA, 16 RBI).
Wilton is making its second consecutive state tournament appearance and third in the past five seasons after rallying past Cascade in the regional title game with a seven-run sixth inning.
The Beavers reached the 2A semifinals last season defeating Pella Christian 7-2 in the opening round before falling to Earlham 9-6 in the semifinals.
Wilton is another team that enters playing its best at the right time winning 11 of its last 12 and scoring eight or more runs 10 times during that stretch.
A strong and balanced Beaver lineup features five players hitting over .400 led by senior slugger Peyton Souhrada (.474, 8 HR) and junior pitcher Charlotte Brown (.449, 33 RBI).
Brown is also 25-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 229 strikeouts in 183 1/3 innings.
No. 8 Louisa-Muscatine (25-8) vs. No. 2 North Union (32-3)
Louisa-Muscatine returns to the state tournament for the fourth time in the past five years after missing last season.
The Falcons won the 2A title in 2018 and were 3A runner-up in 2019 during their run of four consecutive state tournament appearances.
This season Louisa-Muscatine has won six of its last seven and four in a row after downing No. 15 Cardinal 2-0 in the regional title game.
North Union is back at the state tournament for the second consecutive season after falling to Earlham 7-4 in the opening round last year.
The Warriors have been among the most impressive teams in paper this season.
North Union is tops in 2A in ERA at 1.17 and batting average against at .145 and is averaging a 2A-best 10 runs per game while outscoring opponents by an average of 8.9 runs per game.
Regina: Emma Nibaur, Sr., P: The lone senior on the Regina roster Nibaur has shoulder a large load all season going 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 135 2/3 innings while hitting .357 with 16 RBI.
North Union: Emily Meyer, Jr., P: Few players in the state do more for their teams than Meyer who leads the state with 32 wins and is second with 309 strikeouts in 177 2/3 innings while posting a 32-3 record. Meyer also is hitting .424 with seven home runs and ranks second in the state with 58 RBI.
Louisa-Muscatine: Piper Brant, Sr., P: A stellar two-way player Brant is 20-3 with a 1.75 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 140 1/3 innings in the circle and has also hit .417 with three home runs and 26 RBI.
Logan-Magnolia: Abby Hiatt, Soph., P: Hiatt has been impressive throughout the season with an unblemished 25-0 record, a 1.11 ERA and 223 strikeouts in 151 innings.
Wilton: Peyton Souhrada, Sr., OF: One of the best hitters in Class 2A, Souhrada has enjoyed a monster season hitting .474 with eight home runs and 41 RBI.
Central Springs: Cooper Klaahsen, Jr., P: Has been among the best in 2A all season posting a 23-0 record with a .57 ERA while fanning 225 in 136 innings.
Mount Ayr: Addy Reynolds, Sr., P: Another impressive two-way player in the 2A field, Reynolds hit .434 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI and also went 13-5 with a 2.40 ERA and struck out 90 in 105 innings in the circle.
Van Meter: Macy Blomgren, Jr., P: Blomgren has been dynamic anywhere on the field this season hitting .486 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI in 72 at bats while posting a 7-0 record with a .36 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings in the circle.
Central Springs has everything you are looking for in a state title team.
The Panthers have the pitching and a deep lineup, they have state tournament experience and have been challenged during the regular season.
At 31-1, top-ranked and top-seeded Central Springs enters the undisputed favorite seeking the first state title in program history.
The lone unranked team in the 2A field Mount Ayr enters as a classic underdog.
The Raiders played their best down the stretch pulling an upset of Interstate 35 in the regional semifinals and will look to keep their Cinderella season going in Fort Dodge.
It is a tough road for Mount Ayr beginning with a quarterfinal against top-ranked Central Springs.
It is the perfect spot for Regina once again as the Regals enter the state tournament seeded fourth and under the radar.
The record isn’t as impressive as some teams but Regina has played a schedule second to none in terms of difficulty level and will once again be a tough out at state.
Is this a changing of the guard season in Class 2A? Defending champion North Linn who had won two of the last three 2A titles moved down to 1A and the 2020 champion Ogden failed to make the field.
Louisa-Muscatine and Regina are two of the teams in the field to win titles recently, in 2018 and 2017. Do they do it again or is this the year that Central Springs, North Union or Logan-Magnolia finally gets over the hump?
Five Fast Facts
* – Logan-Magnolia is the lone remaining unbeaten team in the state at 28-0.
* – Regina senior Emma Nibaur has thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings entering the state tournament after back-to-back regional shutouts of Alburnett and East Marshall
* – The 32 victories for North Union junior pitcher Emily Meyer are more wins than any other team in the Class 2A field.
* – Logan-Magnolia (28-0) and Central Springs (31-1) are the lone two state qualifiers in any class with fewer than three losses.
* – North Union leads 2A in both team ERA (1.17) and runs scored per game (10).
Quarterfinals, July 19
North Union (32-3) vs. Louisa-Muscatine (25-8), 1 p.m.
Logan-Magnolia (28-0) vs. Wilton (26-6), 1:30 p.m.
Central Springs (31-1) vs. Mount Ayr (17-9), 3 p.m.
Regina (21-11) vs. Van Meter (30-9), 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals, July 20
North Union/Louisa-Muscatine winner vs. Logan-Magnolia/Wilton winner, 3:30 p.m.
Central Springs/Mount Ayr winner vs. Regina/Van Meter winner, 5:30 p.m.
Championship, July 22
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.