The state softball tournament is well underway with the semifinals about to take place on Thursday and then the state championship games taking place on Friday. Aside from the extreme heat and humidity while I was there for nearly 12 hours in Fort Dodge, I was, again, not dissappointed by a state tournament event with parents, fans, friends and players from many schools coming together for a chance at the softball crown at the end of the week.

While Harlan Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge is nice and a great spot for the state softball tournament, it’s hard not to look forward to seeing Dallas County baseball teams playing under the lights at Principal Park in Des Moines.

Dating all the way back to my internship in the summer of 2013, I have now experienced both the 2013 state baseball tournament and the first round of the 2014 state softball tournament and have enjoyed covering both tournaments tremendously, but there is something special about seeing a team under the lights at the home of the Iowa Cubs.

Van Meter has already qualified for the state tournament with a win over St. Albert, Council Bluffs on Tuesday and Dallas Center-Grimes and Waukee were looking to punch their tickets on Wednesday (results weren’t available before paper went to press). Van Meter’s first game comes against Regina, Iowa City under the lights, which if you haven’t already caught on to my opinion, is the perfect time to play a ball game at Principal Park.

It makes for a picturesque scene if you’re in a spot with a view of the skyscraper at 801 Grand in the background and the lights shining down on the high school players as they set off on a journey to be crowned state champions in the state of Iowa.

Dating back to 1928, there have been three state championship teams within the Dallas County News’s current coverage area.

Van Meter has won two state titles, one in the summer of 2003, when they defeated Granville, Spalding Catholic in the finals, and one in the fall of 1946 when they defeated Everly at the state tournament in Dysert.

Dallas Center-Grimes won one state title just two seasons ago in the summer of 2012 when they defeated Decorah 13-0 for their first title.