The St. Edmond softball team moved within a single step of its fourth-ever state tournament bid here Friday night.
The Gaels (24-10 overall) hammered Alta-Aurelia by an 11-1 count in a five-inning Class 2A, Region 7 Semifinal at Rogers Sports Complex.
SEHS collected 12 hits in the contest - from seven different players - and plated all of its runs in the last three frames. The green and white also went a perfect 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts.
"Our girls came out hungry and liked the idea of not having quite as much pressure on (as Thursday's 5-4 regional quarterfinal triumph over Prairie Valley)," first-year Gael head coach Paul Hunt said. "We hit the ball well and were aggressive on the basepaths, which really paid off in the end."
Next up for St. Edmond is a 2A regional final clash with fourth-ranked Van Meter (30-7) on Monday at 7 p.m. in Ogden. The Bulldogs advanced last evening with a 6-0 shutout of IKM-Manning.
Jessica Kuebler, a sophomore catcher, finished 3-for-3 offensively for SEHS out of the No. 9 spot in the order.
ST. EDMOND 11, ALTA-AURELIA 1 (5 Inn.)
Alta-Aurelia 010 00-1 1 3
St. Edmond 004 61-11 12 2
Taylor Rohwer (L, 14-15; 4 1/3 IP, 12 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 1 BB, 0 K) and Alexis Hernandez; Katie Donnelly (W, 18-6; 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) and Jessica Kuebler.
2B-SE: Josie Heesch. 3B-SE: Jaci Stumpf. HR-SE: Allie Oberg. MH-SE: Kuebler (3), Stumpf (2), Anna Yung (2), Brigid Hanley (2). SB-A-A: Stephanie Stange; SE: Hanley (2), Katy Bocken, Yung, Katie Ahlers. LOB-A-A: 1; SE: 2. DP-A-A: 1.
Freshman Jaci Stumpf and classmates Anna Yung and Brigid Hanley all delivered a pair of hits as well for the Gaels. Hanley scored three times, while Stumpf and Yung each crossed the dish twice.
Junior Allie Oberg produced three RBI, including a two-run long ball - her second of the season and the eighth of her varsity career - over the right field fence in the bottom of the fourth.
Stumpf added two RBI with a walkoff run-scoring single up the middle, and Hanley managed a pair of stolen bases.
"What makes us dangerous is we have a lot of capable hitters all the way through our lineup" said Hunt, whose squad has now prevailed in 10 of its last 12 contests. "We had a number of different people step up for us again (Friday)."
Ace hurler Katie Donnelly (18-6) went the distance in the circle for SEHS, allowing only a harmless two-out single to center by Katie Turnquist in the fifth. Donnelly didn't walk a batter and fanned three. She actually faced just two over the minimum and retired 11 straight Warriors (16-19) between the second and fifth frames.
Courtesy runner Stephanie Stange came home with Alta-Aurelia's lone tally in the top of the second following a pair of Gael defensive miscues.
"I thought Katie threw a great game, and the heat wasn't nearly as much of an issue as (Thursday)," Hunt said. "We're excited to see what we can do now against Van Meter. It should be a great competition."