ALLEMAN - North Polk saw its state dreams dashed by Roland-Story in the Class 3A regional finals Monday, dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Norse at Alleman.
North Polk (24-7) entered the game ranked No. 5 in 3A and poised to make its first trip to state since winning the 2A state title in 2008. But the No. 9 Norse (28-4) had other ideas.
Madison Friest hit a two-run homer in the third inning to put the Norse up early. North Polk countered in the bottom of the fourth when Hannah Pals belted a two-run shot of her own to tie the score.
But in the top of the fifth, North Polk was hurt by two errors as Roland-Story loaded the bases. Hailey Louw then drove in the eventual game-winning run with a bloop hit.
North Polk was unable to answer over the final three innings, finishing with just four hits off Norse ace Riley Holmgren.
Pals threw a strong game in defeat. The Drake recruit bowed out with 12 strikeouts against seven hits and three walks in seven innings.
Sydney Anderson was 2-for-3 with a run and Sydney Albaugh doubled for North Polk at the plate.
Roland-Story 3, North Polk 2
RS 002 010 0 - 3 7 0
NP 000 200 0 - 2 4 3
RS: Riley Holmgren and Hailey Louw.
NP: Hannah Pals and Tricia Sporra.
2B: RS - Madison Friest. NP - Sydney Albaugh.
HR: RS - Friest. NP - Pals.
ALLEMAN - Big bats carried the day for North Polk in a 10-5 victory over Kuemper Catholic during the Class 3A regional semifinals Friday at Alleman.
The No. 5 Comets connected on four extra-base hits, scoring at least two runs in four different innings to advance to the regional finals with a 24-6 record.
North Polk plated three runs in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth to build an 8-0 lead. After Kuemper Catholic scored twice in the top of the fifth the Comets came back with two more runs.
Kuemper Catholic plated three runs in the sixth, but Hannah Pals came in to blank the Knights in the seventh to sew up the victory.
Sydney Anderson was 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs, Sydney Albaugh went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs and RBIs apiece and Tricia Sporra finished 2-for-2 with two walks, three RBIs, a run and a steal to pace the Comet offensive attack. Pals doubled and scored twice; Swygman doubled, walked twice, stole a base and scored; Rebecca Ley was 1-for-3 with a walk, run, RBI and three steals; Hailey Steffen singled, walked, stole a base and scored and Ellie Owen walked twice, scored and stole a base.
Swygman was the winning pitcher. She gave up five runs — four earned — on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk in 5 ⅓ innings.
Pals threw 1 ⅔ scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out three.
Chloe Venteicher took the loss for Kuemper Catholic after surrendering eight runs — seven earned — on seven hits with eight walks and one strikeout in 5 ⅓ innings. Kenzie Schon homered and drove in two runs; Chloe Grote doubled, scored and knocked in two runs and Alli Mertz doubled, scored and drove in a run for the Knights.
North Polk 10, Kuemper Catholic 5
KC 000 023 0 - 5 6 NA
NP 032 320 X - 10 11 NA
KC: Chloe Venteicher, Anna Wanninger (6) and Kayla Venner.
NP: Sophie Swygman, Hannah Pals (6) and Tricia Sporra.
2B: KC - Alli Mertz, Chloe Grote. NP - Swygman, Pals.
3B: NP - Sydney Anderson.
HR: KC - Kenzie Schon. NP - Sydney Albaugh.
ALLEMAN - A solid first three innings on offense was more than enough support for Hannah Pals in North Polk’s 4-0 Class 3A regional quarterfinal win over Gilbert July 3 at Alleman.
Pals fired a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts and just one walk to help the No. 5 Comets advance to the semifinals with a 23-6 record.
“I was prepared to throw my best game,” Pals said. “I think we all came together as a team and played really well.”
North Polk scored a run in each of the first two innings and two in the third. The Comets sputtered against Gilbert relief pitcher Halli Nissen over the next three innings, but it didn’t matter, thanks to Pals’ strong arm and a defense that didn’t commit a single error.
The victory was North Polk’s 18th in 20 games after a 5-4 start. The Comets have won six straight.
“We’ve really come together as a team,” Pals said. “We’ve played really good the last few weeks. Everyone’s been hitting, everyone’s been making their plays in the field — it’s been really good.”
Sophie Swygman had North Polk’s biggest hit against Gilbert with a two-run double in the third. Ellie Owen walked and scored in the first inning and Pals walked and eventually crossed the plate on another Tiger wild pitch in the second.
North Polk finished with six hits. The Comets displayed the great depth of their lineup as No. 9 hitter Chloe Dougherty stepped up with two hits to help keep constant pressure on Nissen and starting Tiger pitcher Jordynn Pike.
“(I was) keeping my hands high and doing it for the team, not myself,” Dougherty said. “I was just really excited to go out there.”
Pals finished 1-for-2 with a walk, three steals and two runs on offense. Tricia Sporra singled once and stole two bases; Sydney Anderson singled and stole a base; Owen walked, scored and swiped two bases and Hailey Steffen walked, stole a base and scored.
Pike took the loss after giving up four runs on four hits and three walks in 2 ⅔ innings. Nissen threw 3 ⅓ scoreless innings, giving up just two hits with no walks or strikeouts.
North Polk 4, Gilbert 0
G 000 000 0 - 0 3 0
NP 112 000 X - 4 6 0
G: Jordynn Pike, Halli Nissen (3) and Emma Mostek.
NP: Hannah Pals and Tricia Sporra.
2B: NP - Sophie Swygman.