OXFORD– Hopefully Jim White isn’t superstitious. When his Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers take the field on Tuesday, July 18, at the Class 4A state softball tournament, it will be Coach White’s 13th time at the helm for the big dance. For CCA, it will be the 33rd state tourney appearance and its fourth consecutive. CCA is technically the defending Class 3A champion, but with realignment to five classes this season by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, the Clippers find themselves in 4A where they are ranked No. 1 in the state.
The Clippers (41-1) beat the devil out of the Cedar Rapids Xavier Saints Tuesday, July 10, at home in an 18-3, five-inning regional final pounding. As the visitors, the Creek girls were up first and put two runs on the board in the top of the first inning. The Saints answered with one in the bottom half of the first and held CCA scoreless in the second. Two more runs for Creek in the third were followed by a five-run assault in the fourth.
The Saints sought redemption with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but a nine-run barrage by Creek in the fifth brought down the curtain on the Saints’ season.
Fran Strub led at the plate with four hits (including a double) and three RBIs, Caitlin Wnek brought in five runs with three hits including a double and a home run, and Mallory Neubauer put up three hits with one RBI. Mariah McKinnon, Maliah Fligg, Tara Walls, Mallory Madsen, Jazmyne Neely and Kara Brant had one single apiece.
Fligg took the win for her three innings of pitching, striking-out two and walking one. Fligg gave up three runs (two earned) and four hits. Miranda Hochstetler worked two innings, striking out four and giving up one hit.
For CR Xavier: 3 runs, 5 hits.
For CCA: 18 runs, 14 hits.
Semifinal action is scheduled for Thursday, July 19, with the championship set for Friday, July 20, at 4:45 p.m. at the Harlan Rogers Softball Complex in Fort Dodge.