COUNCIL BLUFFS — With its season on the line on Friday, the Indian Hills softball team had two choices. One choice would have made the first day of the postseason the last day of the season for the Warriors.
Then there was the second choice. The one that keeps IHCC on the softball diamond for what will be a very busy, pressure-packed Saturday.
Indian Hills responded from a disappointing 3-1 loss to three-time regional tournament champion Iowa Western in the opening game of this year’s postseason tourney, hammering Muscatine. The Warriors exploded with a nine-run fourth inning in the tournament’s first elimination game, sending the second-seeded Cardinals home early with an 11-0, five-inning triumph that will send IHCC into the tournament's fifth game for the third consecutive year.
Playing in game five means Indian Hills will again face the challenge of having to win three-straight elimination games in a row today, starting with a surprising opponent at 11 a.m. After beating the Warriors in the opening game, Iowa Western was stunned by Southeastern in the final game of day one 4-2, meaning the Reivers will also have to win three-straight games to win its fourth-straight tournament title.
The win by the Blackhawks snapped Iowa Western’s five-game regional tournament winning streak. IHCC (24-24) and the Reivers (38-19), who have been the final two teams in the last three regional tournaments, will meet today with the winner facing the task of beating Southeastern (20-27) twice in a row starting with a matchup against the Blackhawks at 1 p.m.
After being limited to just one run on five hits by Iowa Western in game one, the bats of IHCC finally broke through in a big way against Muscatine. Kendle Schieber, who’s sixth-inning RBI groundout produced the only run against Iowa Western, gave the Warriors the lead against the Cardinals with an RBI double that scored Chelsea Griffiths in the third. Maddie McGuire added a sacrifice fly to score Lindsay Moore to give IHCC a 2-0 lead.