Macey Wolfe drove in both of Dallas Center-Grimes’ runs as the top-ranked Fillies turned away Class 5A No. 5 Waukee 2-1 in Dallas Center on Tuesday.
In the first, the University of Northern Iowa recruit singled home Brooke Kramer, who had singled and stolen second base. In the third, she launched her fourth home run of the season, a sky-high shot to left field that helped the Fillies improve to 17-0 on the season.
"She’s a great hitter and she has such great mechanics," DC-G coach Steve Schlafke said of Wolfe, who is hitting .574 with a .981 slugging percentage through Tuesday. "A lot of teams try to pitch around her, but if you pitch around her you’ve got Paige Lowary, and if you pitch around her you’ve got Tabitha Taylor. We’ve got kids up and down the lineup who can hit."
But Waukee freshman Kaitlyn Menz had a strong outing, striking out six and allowing just four hits and no walks in six innings.
"Menz is coming into her own," said Waukee coach Carrie Embree. "She’s been working on hitting her locations and she’s been in a groove lately. She was pitching game No. 1 and we moved her to game No. 1 to start us off. She’s transitioned nicely."
Waukee managed just one hit against Paige Lowary, but a patient approach resulted in the Warriors drawing six walks. They finally broke through in the seventh. Callie Feaker doubled and scored on a flyout to deep right-center by Kylie Mickelson.
"They hit a couple of bombs in the seventh inning," Schlafke said. "That’s a credit to Carrie and what she brings to the program at Waukee. Those kids don’t quit and keep battling all the time."
The Fillies’ defense also helped. Paige Shanno threw out a runner at second in the second inning. Kramer turned a 5-3-5 double play in the fourth and the Fillies threw out another runner at third in the sixth.
"We executed some defensive plays tonight that last year we didn’t make and it cost us in certain situations, even in the state tournament," Schlafke said.
DC-G returns seven starters from last season, and is also getting key contributions from eighth-graders Kramer and Rachel Lowary. The team downplays the impact of a No. 1 ranking in Class 4A, knowing that a long season and a very tough schedule lie ahead.
"We don’t (focus on the ranking) because there’s only one No. 1 and that’s who wins at the end of the season," said Schlafke, who led the Fillies to a third-place finish in 2011 and a runner-up finish last year. "You don’t have to be No. 1 in the rankings to do that. First of all, you have to get there. And second of all, you have to take care of business when you do."
Waukee returns six starters from last season’s 33-9 team, and also has its sights set on Fort Dodge. The Warriors started the year 8-0 but have lost five of their last seven.
"We’ve been putting up decent records, but now we want to get to state and we want to keep making a name for our program," Embree said. "We have the talent, it’s just getting over the hump."