WEST POWERS PAST CITY

WEST POWERS PAST CITY

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WEST POWERS PAST CITY

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It was a hit parade for the Women of Troy on Saturday night, as West High knocked out 17 hits — including three home runs, two by freshman Adara Opiola — in a 12-1 five-inning win over the Little Hawks at City High.

West (22-19) advances to face No. 3 Ottumwa (34-6) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Ottumwa.

“Everything is coming together at the right time,” West coach Barb Lynn said. “They had it in them all the time, but we’re finally taking it at people right now.”

West High has plated 10 or more runs in 10 of its last 25 games.

“I think we’re doing a great job,” Opiola said. “We started playing for each other and became more of a team.

“We feel really connected. It honestly feels like more of a family than a team.”

Opiola, who had hit two home runs in a game once before this season and now has seven on the year, smacked a solo shot during a five-run fourth inning and three-run blast in the fifth.

“She’s an amazing hitter,” Lynn said. “She gets down on herself sometimes, but when she steps in the box and focuses on the ball and hitting, she’s got so much power and pop, she can get a hit anytime.”

City High (19-19), which had lost to West High 15-5 just 10 days ago, knew it was catching the Women of Troy on a surge.

“They are peaking,” City coach Gary Fickel said. “We came in with a lot of confidence and feeling good, but give them a lot of credit, they put the ball in play … hard.”

West High scored in the top of the first inning when Madi Miller singled and was hit in by an RBI double by Lauren Larson.

The Women of Troy added three more runs in the second on an RBI single by Morgan Ryan and a two-run single by Grace Tafolla.

City High got its run in the bottom of the third inning, when Brynn Hanrahan doubled and was hit in on a double by Shelby Yoder.

“We still felt good when it was 4-0 and we were able to put one on the board,” Fickel said. “But that inning was tough and told the tale of the ballgame.”

That inning was the top of the fourth, when West High batted around the order and got back-to-back home runs by Miller and Opiola.

Miller had a three-run shot over the left field wall, and Opiola, a lefty, hit it over the right field fence.

“It makes us feel awesome,” Ryan said of the home runs. “I get our attitudes twice as much.”

Opiola enjoyed being mobbed a home plate so much, she did it one inning later, smacking a 3-run blast over the left field fence.

“It’s so fun,” Opiola said. “You feel like everyone loves you and makes you feel so loved on the team.”

In addition to the 17 hits, the Women of Troy played error-free defense behind pitcher Jessica Harder. The freshman held City to four hits. She also struck out two and walked none.

“Jess has been throwing really well late in the season and into postseason play,” Lynn said. “And the team is playing great team defense behind her.”

But the West High offense was the star of the show. Lauren Larson hit 3-for-4 with two doubles, Ryan was 3-for-3 with a double. Madi Miller hit 2-for-4 with her home run, and Erin Kallsen hit 2-for-4.

Eight West batters finished with a hit.

“It’s nice to have that confidence in each of the kids right now that they can step up and get a hit at any time,” Lynn said. “They’ve got a lot of potential when they step in that box with confidence.”

West — the fourth place team at the 5A state tournament last season — started the season 12-15 but have gone 10-4 over the past few weeks.

“We need this, we want this, we’re determined to get this,” Ryan said.

West High 130 53 12 17 0
City High 001 00 1 4 2

Jessica Harder and Michaela Recker; Shaylee Frauenholz, Sasha Frauenholz (5) and Peyton Koenig. W – Harder. L – Sh. Frauenholz. 2B – Lauren Larson 2 (W), Brynn Hanrahan (C), Shelby Yoder (C), Morgan Ryan (W). HR – Madi Miller (W), Adara Opiola 2 (W).

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