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Ram-bunctious

West High splits with Dubuque Senior softball
West High’s Madi Miller and Dubuque Senior’s catcher look to the man in blue for the call after Miller slid in to home plate Tuesday, July 2, during a varsity doubleheader at home. Miller was declared safe. (photos by Chris Umscheid)

IOWA CITY– The night ended in a draw, but the Women of Troy still had reason to celebrate Tuesday, July 2. The Rams of Dubuque Senior visited for a varsity doubleheader and brought a 25-5 record overall and 16-4 Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) record. West was 17-17 and 14-8 in contrast. The Rams were also ranked fourth in Class 5A while the Women of Troy were unranked.
So when West pulled off a 6-2 upset win in game one, some dugout dancing during game two could certainly be understood.
Lauren Larson started things off right for West with a two-RBI double that brought Grace Tafolla and Madi Miller home in the bottom of the first inning. Tafolla, the leadoff batter walked and Miller knocked out a double as well. Taylor Libby then singled and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Erin Kallsen, which brought Larson home. Lynn Jehle brought Libby home with a single to give the home team a 4-0 lead.
In the third Libby nearly got a homerun. However the ball hit the top of the left field fence and dropped inside the park where a Ram chased it down. A double by Jehle brought Libby home, and she crossed the plate on a single by Morgan Ryan for a 6-0 lead.
The Rams found the scoreboard in the top of the fourth and again in the fifth. West dodged a bullet as the bases loaded up on them. With two outs and three Rams eager to score, a line drive rocketed toward Adara Opiola, who was guarding third base. Her catch bought the out and ended the threat.
Jess Harder worked all seven innings with two strikeouts.
The Rams retaliated in game two with three runs in the first inning. Opiola blasted a triple in the bottom of the first, scoring Miller who had put up a single. Larson then sacrificed but brought Opiola home for the second and last West run of the ballgame. The Rams added four more runs in the second inning for the 7-2 final score. Paige Powers went the distance in the ring with three strikeouts.
The postseason starts on Thursday, July 11, against Cedar Rapids Kennedy on the home diamond with a 7 p.m. start time. A win sends West across town to face City High on Saturday, July 13, for the regional semifinal. The regional final is set for Tuesday, July 16, in Ottumwa.