West Burlington-Notre Dame's softball team is one step away from its third appearance in the state tournament, but it's a giant step.
Behind the three-hit pitching of eighth-grader Lauren Summers, the Falcons ousted No. 9 Camanche, 4-0, at Camanche Friday night in the Class 3A, Region 1 semifinals. WB-ND (25-11) advances to Monday's regional championship game against top-ranked Assumption (37-2) at Davenport. That winner heads to the state tournament July 22-26 at the Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge.
The Falcons scored all they needed in the top of the first inning. They loaded the bases with no outs and Alycia Jackson ripped a two-run single. Reagan Engberg followed with another single, driving home the third run.
WB-ND added an insurance run in the seventh inning on a two-out solo home run by Madelyn Stutsman.
Summers (23-9) gave up a double to Camaryn Carsten, two singles and a walk. She struck out eight, including the last four batters she faced and five of the last six. Summers threw 97 pitches, 72 of them strikes.
Stutsman and Jackson both finished 2-for-4. Makenna Davis, Addy Kellen and Lexy Davis each singled for the Falcons.
Tarah Wehde (14-5) was the losing pitcher. She gave up three earned runs on eight hits and a walk in six and two-thirds innings. She fanned six Falcons.
Assumption is on a 10-game winning streak. Its only losses are to larger schools — Muscatine and North Scott in the tough Mississippi Athletic Conference. WB-ND is seeking its first state tournament berth since 2014. The Falcons finished second in the 2A tournament in 2011.
Assumption and WB-ND met once earlier this season. Assumption beat West Burlington-Notre Dame 11-3 in the Muscatine Classic on June 22.
Assumption is seeking its eighth appearance at state.
PEKIN 4, VAN BUREN 3: An unearned run in the fourth inning lifted Pekin over Van Buren in the Class 2A regional semifinal at Keosauqua.
Pekin (19-13) advances to Monday's regional final against Wapello (16-12) at a site to be determined.
Emi Zook blasted a three-run homer in the first inning to give Pekin the early lead. Isabel Manning led Van Buren with two hits in three trips. She and Lexi Jirak doubled.
Van Buren finished the season at 15-12. "We won a lot of close ones and we've got the core of the team coming back," coach Randy Smith said. "We've got three all-conference players coming back. We'll have both pitchers, the catcher and the whole infield back, so we should be okay."
WAPELLO 9, WEST BRANCH 0: The Arrows are a game away from the state tournament after blanking West Branch at Wapello in the Class 2A regional semifinals.
Mady Reid went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and drove in a pair of runs for the Arrows, while Morgan Richenberger also drove in a pair of runs. Serah Shaer had a double and drove in a run and Toni Bohlen drove in a run. Samantha Smith went the distance to pick up the win, scattering four hits and striking out five.
Wapello (16-12) will face Pekin (19-13) Monday at Packwood for the regional championship. The two teams split a June 11 doubleheader in SEI Superconference North Division play. Pekin won the first game, 12-2, but Wapello took the nightcap, 8-4.
Monday's winner advances to the state tournament July 22-26 at the Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge.
West Branch ended its season at 18-18.
MOUNT PLEASANT 3, SOLON 2: Jaxon Holye pitched 6 2/3 innings, striking out six batters to pick up the win for the Panthers in a road game against the Spartans. Hoyle also had a run-scoring single. Nik Coble came in to strike out the last batter to pick up the save. He also contributed a double. Clayton Lowery went 2-for-3 and drove in a run.
Mount Pleasant (20-10) plays Clear Creek-Amana in a Class 3A district semifinal game at 5 p.m. Friday at Fairfield.