It was a top-five battle in Class 5A state semi-final action as the top-ranked Waukee Warriors took on fifth-ranked Johnston Wednesday night with the chance to make a state tournament final on the line.
With the help of early offense and lockdown defense late, the Warrior captured their sixth state tournament final in program history with a 3-1 victory. The big go-ahead inning for the Warriors came to kick off the game as the Warriors plated two in the bottom half of the first which at the time gave them an early 2-0 lead. The Warriors tacked on one more run in the third inning. By then the Warrior defense gave the feeling like their 3-1 lead through four innings was more like a 10-0 lead. That actual 3-1 lead held through the seventh and final inning, giving the Warriors the ultimate win.
Helping the offensive cause, the top five batters in the lineup had huge contributions on the night including Jalyn Yaukovitz who struck for two hits in three at-bats and was the only Warrior to earn a multi-hit game. The Warriors didn’t put forth a ton of offense with just five hits in the game, but they made the most of it. Others who turned in a hit were Delaney Taylor, Heidi Wheeler who reached base twice, and Reagan Bartholomew who’s one hit in the game equated to two runs brought in.
Inside the circle, the always powerful duo of Molly Jacobson and Elly Bates combined to deliver seven strong innings giving up just three hits and one earned run while striking out six total batters. Jacobson would pick up the win, her 21st of the season.
The Warriors extended their season and their record to 40-3 on the season and will be searching for their fourth state title when they take on West Des Moines Valley in the championship game on Friday, July 26.