Fuel for what's next: Young AGWSR softball team places 2nd

The AGWSR softball team hoists the 1A state runner-up trophy after a 1-0 loss to Collins-Maxwell last Thursday in Fort Dodge. (Kristi Nixon/Mid-America Publishing)

FORT DODGE – Someone was going to break through eventually.

 

AGWSR and Collins-Maxwell were locked in a 0-0 tie heading into the seventh inning of last Thursday's Class 1A state softball championship game, with the only hit between the two teams belonging to the Cougars.

 

Cougars star Taryan Barrick was perfect through six, but on her third trip through the lineup, the Spartans finally caught up with the junior hurler.

 

Back-to-back singles for Alexis Houge and Katie Camp set up Hannah Caple's game-winning single two batters later, as Collins-Maxwell escaped with a 1-0 victory in Fort Dodge and its first state title as a school, one year after separating from Baxter. The title was also the first for Collins-Maxwell in any sport.

 

"You won't see too many finals better than this one," AGWSR co-head coach Scott O'Brien said. "When [Barrick] got out in that first inning and got a good groove going, I knew she'd have a good game."

 

Barrick certainly did, finishing with 10 strikeouts and no walks in her pristine first six innings.

 

But her counterpart in the circle was just as hard to crack, as Mikayla Houge struck out 13 with one hit allowed and two walks in seven shutout innings.

 

"We just couldn't stay off her rise balls or her curve once in a while," Barrick said. "It was very effective but we just couldn't lay off it."

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