Home runs propel Dallas Center-Grimes softball past North Scott, 9-3, in Class 4A state semifinal

Alyssa Hertel
Des Moines Register

As the competition continued at the Iowa high school state softball tournament on Wednesday, Dallas Center-Grimes and North Scott took to the field for a Class 4A semifinal matchup.

Winterset and Carlisle had already played each other, with the Huskies through to the championship after the first 4A game of the day. Winterset will play the Huskies on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. after DCG overcame an early deficit to beat North Scott, 9-3.

“We all know that we come from behind all the time, we just battle back,” Dallas Center-Grimes starting pitcher Aubrey Johansen said. 

Dallas Center-Grimes' Aubrey Johansen (9) pitches to a North Scott batter during the Class 4A semifinals at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex Wednesday, July 20, 2022 in Fort Dodge.

Dallas Center-Grimes entered Wednesday’s semifinal on a hot streak: The Mustangs had won 14-straight and 24 of their last 25 games. But it was North Scott that got off to a hot start.

The Lancers batted first, and North Scott went three up, three down. Aubrey Johansen did get on base for the Mustangs in the first innings, but the Lancers secured three quick outs. Both teams managed a base hit in the second inning, but they wrapped the innings soon after.

North Scott broke away in the third inning. Maddy McDermott hit a single that sent Cadey Bredar home, giving the Lancers the early lead. Immediately after, Adalynn Johnson hit a two RBI double, and Carley Bredar and Natalie Naber scored to give North Scott a 3-0 before the inning finished.

DCG picked steam in the fourth. North Scott’s Rylie Robertson missed catching a hit off Izabella Mulder’s bat, and Abby Osborn scored the first run of the game for the Mustangs. Macee Reiling followed that with a single that sent Grace Johnson home, moving DCG within one run of North Scott.

That’s when Olivia Huston changed the game for Dallas Center-Grimes. She hit a home run out of center field, allowing three runners to score and give the Mustangs a 5-3 lead.

Dallas Center-Grimes players celebrate Izabella Mulder's (7) home run against North Scott during the Class 4A semifinals at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex on Wednesday in Fort Dodge.

“The second pitch, I swung and missed, so I got a little scared,” Huston said. “But the next pitch came, it’s right down the middle and I swung and I guess it went over. I felt really good and I feel like it got our team back up to where we needed to be and we were super hyped about it.”

The Mustangs continued to pile on the runs in the fifth. Aubrey Johansen hit a double, and Lydia Zaruba scored. Then Addison Lyddon hit another double and sent Abby Osborn home, forcing North Scott to change pitchers.

Mulder made the Lancers pay for that decision, hitting DCG’s second home run of the game. She and Jenna Morrison scored and the Mustangs took a 9-3 lead before North Scott would take over at bat. Dallas Center-Grimes had four runs on five hits in that inning.

Both teams were relatively quiet in the sixth, and Camila Rodriguez took over pitching for the Mustangs and Dallas Center-Grimes took care of North Scotts final three batters to advance to the championship.

“We just have to be prepared,” Huston said about facing Winterset. “We can’t be scared. We have to go in knowing that we can do it, having that confidence.”

Alyssa Hertel is the college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at ahertel@dmreg.com or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.