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The Gazette KCRG
Posted July 21, 2011
Clippers strike early, take down Dallas Center-Grimes

Clear Creek Amana's Fran Strub celebrates scoring a run during the first inning of their Class 3A semifinal game against Dallas Center-Grimes at the state softball tournament Thursday at Fort Dodge. CCA won, 7-2, to advance to the title game. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)

FORT DODGE — This time, Clear Creek Amana didn’t procrastinate. No last-ditch comeback was necessary.

The second-ranked Clippers jumped on No. 3 Dallas Center-Grimes early, putting 17 of their first 24 batters on base and scoring all of its runs in the first four innings of a 7-2 victory in a Class 3A semifinal at the state softball tournament Thursday afternoon at the Rogers Sports Complex.

“We were definitely being very selective,” said Mariah McKinnon. “We knew if we got (DCG pitcher Paige Lowary) flustered, she’d start walking us.”

She did. Ten Clippers drew free passes, and three of those walks came around to score.

The ease of victory was a far cry from the Clippers’ sweat-it-out, eight-inning comeback victory over West Delaware in Round 1.

“West Delaware was the worst (first-round) draw for us because I knew they could beat us,” said CCA Coach Jim White. “But they were the best draw to prepare us for Dallas Center-Grimes.”

CCA (42-2) faces No. 5 Winterset for the 3A championship at 3 p.m. Friday. The Huskies (32-10) knocked off No. 1 Carlisle, the defending champion, 5-2, Thursday.

A victory would give the Clippers their 10th championship, their sixth under White.

White announced Maliah Fligg as his starting pitcher “about a half-hour before game time,” according to Fligg.

“I was really nervous, but once I got to the bullpen, I was able to settle down,” she said.

It didn’t hurt that the Clippers put up three runs in the top of the first, before Fligg threw a pitch.

The top of the first was eventful — two hits, four walks and two wild pitches (one on a third strike) translated into three runs.

Two scored on wild pitches; Mallory Madsen added an RBI single.

Madsen added a two-run single in the fourth that extended the CCA lead to 7-1. She was 3-for-3 with a walk.

Though Madsen has the appearance of a speedy slapper, she can hit it past the defense when it cheats in.

“I see that a lot,” said Madsen, a freshman who stands “4-foot-11 with my shoes on.”

McKinnon was 3-for-5.

“It was good to get ahead,” she said. “It’s going to be awesome playing for the championship. It’s our goal every year. It’s good to finally get back.”

CCA’s last finals appearance was in 2009, when it capped an unbeaten season with a win over Carlisle.

Dallas Center-Grimes (39-6) plays Carlisle (38-3) for third place at 2 p.m. Friday.

AT FORT DODGE

Clear Creek Amana          310 300 0 – 7  7  1

Dallas Center-Grimes     010 010 0 – 2  5  2

Maliah Fligg (W) and Cassie Downes. Paige Lowary (L) and Jackie Schmidt.

 

 

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