Des Moines Christian rolls to regional softball victory

Des Moines Christian rolls to regional softball victory


Des Moines Christian rolls to regional softball victory


Des Moines Christian would have hit the lights out, if there were any.

The Lions eliminated Woodward-Granger on Wednesday in Urbandale before most other Class 2-A regional softball quarterfinals began, posting a 12-1 win in five innings.

An absence of light posts was of little consequence as Des Moines Christian (18-12) used the mercy rule in its early 5:30 p.m. start.

“We came in prepared for a hard-fought, well-played game,” Des Moines Christian coach Howard Harris said. “Our girls just really executed and hit the ball well. Hitting is contagious.”

One run decided each of two previous games against Woodward-Granger (19-17) this season, but an Olivia Rasmussen two-run home run in the first inning got the Des Moines Christian offense rolling this time.

The Lions were on their home field, but batted first in the postseason matchup and never trailed.

“I think we just really got our bats moving,” Des Moines Christian junior Emma James said. “Everybody felt that momentum get up and it kind of snowballed.”

Scoring poured in during a 10-run third inning for the Lions. The frame included 14 at-bats, seven hits, four passed balls and a three-run homer by James.

“They just drilled the ball,” Woodward-Granger coach Steve Gunderson said. “We felt pretty good coming in, but they swung the bat real well. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

James pitched for Roosevelt in a regional loss last season, but picked up the win with a revamped Lions roster on Wednesday. Only four starters returned from Des Moines Christian’s 2012 Class 2-A runner-up team, and James transferred in this school year.

“I love this team,” James said. “We did better this year than I’ve ever done before.”

This team is still two victories from Fort Dodge, but the players are starting to believe.

“We are a different team because of the level of inexperience,” Harris said. “But our kids have come so far in a short period of time, and I’m very pleased with their effort. Tradition means a lot and they have bought in.”

Des Moines Christian will host the Class 2-A Region 7 semifinal against Central Decatur at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

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