ALBIA — History will not be repeated in Fort Dodge for the Albia High School softball team this summer.
Kaitlyn Halsband delivered a decisive bases-clearing double in the seventh inning, completing a five-run rally that snapped a 1-1 tie in the final inning of regulation, lifting the Clarke Indians to a 6-1 win over the fifth-ranked, defending 3A state champion Lady Dees on Friday night. One season after winning the program's first state championship, Albia falls short of qualifying for a fifth straight trip to the state tournament.
Emma Bolton carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning, driving in the only run of the first five innings after delivering a sacrifice fly in the third inning, allowing Ali Henry to score after drawing the second of three straight walks issued by Albia senior pitcher Mackenna Jones.
Ashley Beary ties the game in the sixth on a solo home run off the scoreboard in left field for Albia (20-7), just the second hit given up in seven innings by Bolton. Clarke responded in the seventh, taking the lead for good on an RBI single by Nicole Barnard, driving in Henry.
Clarke (16-11) will head to ninth-ranked Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Monday to play in the Class 3A, Region 3 championship game at 7 p.m. The winner heads to Fort Dodge to compete in the Iowa High School Girls State Softball Tournament.