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Heartbreak on Melrose

Davenport West upsets Iowa City West, 5-3, in regional softball final
Iowa City West High’s Brylee Klosterman breaks down in tears after striking out in the bottom of the seventh inning to end the Class 5A regional softball final against the Davenport West Falcons. The Falcons won, 5-3, and advanced to the 2016 State Softball Tournament in Fort Dodge. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– If not for a first inning grand slam, Iowa City West High’s 5-3 loss in a Class 5A regional final softball game to Davenport West may well have been a 3-1 win.
The sixth-ranked Women of Troy faced the 11th-ranked Falcons Tuesday, July 12, in Iowa City on the final stop for either team before heading to Fort Dodge and the 2016 State Softball Tournament.
The Falcons loaded the bases in the top of the first inning, in part, with a pair of bunts before Lexy Monty knocked the grand slam dinger just out of Taleah Smith’s reach and over the 210’ sign in the outfield.
West quickly rallied back in the bottom of the inning as Smith hit a single and stole second base. Jessie Harder walked and Brylee Klosterman walked to load the bases. Skylar Ryan smacked a two-run single to bring Smith and Harder home and cut the Falcons’ lead in half. Edie Schwickerath knocked an RBI single to bring Klosterman home to make it a one-run game.
The Falcons changed pitchers ahead of Darby Donovan’s at-bat, putting Monty in the circle for the remainder of the game. Donovan grounded out to end the inning.
The Women of Troy put runners on the bases in the second, third and fourth innings, but left them stranded. The Falcons’ fifth and final run came in the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run. West tried to get a run in the sixth as Schwickerath singled, but was left stranded. A final shot came in the bottom of the seventh, when the Women of Troy put two runners on as Smith singled and just barely made it to first base in time. Adara Opiola walked. In between, Harder flew out to left field and Taylor Libby popped up a fly ball to left field. Klosterman, an eighth-grader, stepped to the plate with two outs on the scoreboard and, despite a tough battle against Monty, picked up her third strike and the final out of the game.
As the Falcons celebrated their upset victory, Klosterman dropped to her knees crying behind home plate as Opiola tried to comfort her.
The Women of Troy’s only state tournament appearance came in 2012, while the Falcons will be making their eighth appearance and first since 2012.
Iowa City West ended the season 31-11, while Davenport West improved to 30-12. The game marked the final performance for seniors Harder, Libby, Opiola, Christine Kallsen and Schwickerath.