Mustangs softball sweeps Indianola in quarterfinal matchup

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to Dallas County News
Dallas Center-Grimes eighth grader Addison Lyddon connects on a pitch against Indianola in their Class 4A game on Monday, July 18, 2022, during the Iowa high school girls state softball tournament in Fort Dodge.

After missing last year’s tournament and losing in the first round of 2020, the Mustangs put their right foot forward with a 9-3 win in Monday’s quarterfinal against Indianola (27-13).

Having already beat the Indians in three previous games this season, the Mustangs seemed to know every move their conference rivals could try to prevent a clean sweep. Straight out of the gate, Dallas Center took a 4-0 lead which grew to 6-0 by the third inning to almost certainly put the game out of reach.

What’s both equally promising and surprising, the top of the batting order was relatively uninvolved. Aubrey Johansen did have three hits, though neither Johansen, Elle Nelsen or Lydia Zaruba would score. Nelsen had one hit and an RBI but that would be the last of their direct impact at the plate. Instead, it was the talents further down the roster that made some noise.

Dallas Center-Grimes sophomore Lydia Zaruba connects on a pitch against Indianola in their Class 4A game on Monday, July 18, 2022, during the Iowa high school girls state softball tournament in Fort Dodge.

Eighth-grade catcher Addison Lyddon put on a show with four hits and an RBI. And running in her place, pinch runner Jenna Morrison scored three times thanks to Izabella Mulder and Macee Reiling each knocking in two runs off two hits. The former had her fifth home run as well.

Indianola found some success at the plate, getting nine hits off Johansen and striking out just three times overall. But with the Mustangs playing stout defense for their ace pitcher, including Lyddon throwing out one runner behind the plate, the Indians left eight runners on base.

In the previous three meetings with Indianola, the Mustangs won by a combined seven runs, making Monday’s six-run margin all the more impressive. With Monday’s win, the Mustangs were awarded a meeting in the semifinals with No. 7 North Scott which DCG soundly beat 8-0 in the 2020 tournament. Additionally, Norwalk lost its quarterfinal matchup, making Dallas Center the last team standing from the Little Hawkeye Conference.

The Mustangs will take on North Scott at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Fort Dodge.