The bats broke out in full force Tuesday night which helped the A-D-M softball team to claim their 13th state tournament appearance.
Two long balls by Sierra Wyant and Ashley Tennant led the Tigers to an 8-1 victory over the Norwalk Warriors in the Class 4A region three tournament in Adel.
A-D-M was initially the first to touch the scoreboard with a 2-0 lead after three innings courtesy of an Abbie Hlas RBI double and an RBI single from Sierra Wyant. After the Warriors pushed across their lone run on a solo home run in the fourth, the Tigers answered with an offensive explosion of six runs and five hits in the bottom of the fourth. The scoring started off with patience from Abbie Hlas who walked which brought home one run. Then the fireworks really began with a pressure packed situation for Sierra Wyant. The sophomore came up to bat with just one out and the bases loaded and she delivered in the biggest way possible with a grand slam to left field. That highlighted a big night for Wyant who led all Tigers with five RBI's for the game. What followed was yet another long ball and another home run by Ashley Tennant as she blasted her 14th home run of the season. That set the score at 8-1 which would stay for the game final.
With a strike zone that seemed to move all over the place at times, Ashley Tennant spoke about the fourth inning offensive surge for her team and her home run in particular.
“I'm going to be honest, I golfed that,” began Tennant. “She (the umpire) called a bad pitch so I was like I'm mad now so I'm just going to hit whatever she throws at me and I just went with the pitch. You've just got to adjust to the strike zone and that's what I did.”
The Tigers totaled nine hits from the plate and were perfect from the field with an error-less ball game, not to mention just five runners left on base all game long. As for inside the circle, it was another dominating performance from Abbie Hlas who struck out a postseason game high eight batters en rout to her 33rd win of the season.
After the game A-D-M head coach Rick Dillinger spoke about the performance of his sophomore pitcher.
“Abbie was pretty well controlled for most of what she threw tonight,” said Dillinger. “She was rewarded tonight with all the work she's put in throughout the regular season and the off-season.”
Overall the Tigers broke through their unlucky streak of making it one game shy of state by playing an overall sound game that really pleased coach Dillinger as he spoke about after the game.
“We did play an overall great game tonight,” began Dillinger. “We were great hitting the ball which seemed to come in bunches and we were pretty solid in the field. We were smart about the decisions we made and it even showed in our base running tonight as well. Overall we played well enough to beat any team out there tonight.”
The Tigers will now waltz into the state tournament with an overall mark of 33-7 which will be the third time in five year's that A-D-M will have obtained a 30 plus win season. This will be the first state tournament appearance for the Tigers since the 2008 campaign. The Tigers will march into Fort Dodge on Tuesday, July 17 as the top seed in the Class 4A state tournament and will be facing a very familiar opponent. They will be taking on the eighth seeded Dallas Center-Grimes, a team that defeated the likes of Knoxville, Class 4A top ranked Carlisle, and Pella team that outscored the Fillies 19-5 during the regular season.
The match up between the two former Raccoon River Conference foes will begin Tuesday, July 17 at 1 p.m. on the Buena Vista University Diamond. The winner will the move onto play Wednesday, July 13 at 3:30 p.m. while the loser will play that same day in the consolation game at 11:30 a.m.