Sixth-ranked (Class 2A) St. Edmond put together one of its most complete softball games of the season Friday night at Rogers Park.
In a Class 2A, District 7 regional semifinal, the Gaels shut the door on Carroll Kuemper, scoring a 9-0 victory and advancing to Monday’s state-qualifying game.
St. Edmond (25-8 overall) will face Des Moines Christian (19-12), a 2-1 winner of Central Decatur. The Lions were 2A state runners-up last year.
First-pitch is set for 7 p.m. in Ogden.
Josie Heesch belted a solo home run, while Allie Oberg and Jessica Kuebler each had three hits. Oberg drove in two, as did Kuebler.
Inside the circle, senior Katie Donnelly fired a one-hitter, striking out five and walking just one. The only hit allowed was on a bang-bang call at first base in the sixth.
“Top-to-bottom, this was one of our best games of the year,” SEHS head coach Paul Hunt said. “We worked the count, we advanced runners, we played aggressive on the bases and Katie was in typical Katie form.
“This is a good time to be playing good softball.”
St. Edmond jumped all over the Knights (15-22), who upset Van Meter in the regional quarterfinals earlier this week, plating a run in the first.
In the third, the Gaels scored three more – all of which came with two outs.
Anna Yung walked and Maggie Harvey hit a shot to deep left that plated her. Oberg rocked an RBI single, scoring Harvey, and Kuebler added the third straight hit.
Donnelly proceeded to help her own cause, driving in Cassie Sells, making it 4-0.
“We’ve preached patience at the plate, but have also told the girls to be aggressive when the opportunity comes,” Hunt said. “We took advantage of good hitting counts and really hit the ball all over the field.”
Yung drove in Jaci Stumpf in the fourth, while Kuebler plated Sells in the fifth on a single before Heesch hit her third home run of the year.
Heesch, who will play at Iowa Central next year, now has 29 homers in her Gael career.
“Josie hasn’t had the type of year she was probably expecting, but she is hitting the ball great here in the postseason,” Hunt said. “Now is the time when big-time players step up and deliver, and Josie is a big-time player.”
As the visiting team on their home field, the Gaels finished off the night with two more runs in the seventh.
St. Edmond, which went 15-0 at home this year and has now won six straight, will only return to Rogers Park with a win Monday night over Des Moines Christian.
The state softball tournament begins July 22.