Tonight, Fairfield will try to qualify for their fourth consecutive state softball tournament in Fort Dodge with a victory over the Cardinals at Newton.
The Trojans? opponent is the No. 10 ranked team in Class 4A and received a first-round bye in the region 5 bracket before defeating Washington 3-1 on Saturday. Although the Cardinals are 23-7 overall, they?ve lost four games in the last 12 days, including a 17-0 mercy-shortened loss to Oskaloosa just a week ago at home in their regular season finale.
Senior Taylor Ryan is the only Cardinal to start all 30 games, although junior Emily Valtman has also played in every game and Audrey Lucas and Mackenzie Brown have been beyond effective during their 28 appearances with the quartet combining for a .397 batting average, 100 runs scored, nine homeruns and 56 RBI.
Newton?s top hurlers are Peyton Maher who is 12-3 with a 0.90 ERA and 124 strikeouts against 32 walks and five hit batsman in 101 innings and Anna Coyle who is 10-3 with a 2.31 ERA and 73 strikeouts against 25 walks and just one hit batsman in 84 2/3 innings.
The game is at 7 p.m. at the new Newton Softball Complex.
Recent regional finals
The Trojans scored in the top of the seventh in 2015 to defeat North Scott 1-0, in 2016 they scored three runs in the sixth for a 3-2 victory at Keokuk after allowing two runs in the second and Fairfield trailed Des Moines Hoover last season 2-1 after allowing a run in the sixth before winning 4-2 with a three-run rally in the bottom of the inning led by then-freshman Grace Stever.