Delaney Schnathorst and Alyvia Dubois hit back-to-back two-out singles in the bottom of the third to lift top-ranked Carlisle to the 4A state title. North Scott nearly tied it in the top of the sixth, but Sam Lee was tagged out on a play at the plate while trying to score from second on a wild pitch. Molly Hoekstra allowed five hits, two walks and no runs in 5 2/3 innings for the win and Lexxi Link got the save with 1 1/3 hitless innings of relief. The No. 1 Wildcats relied on air-tight defense, excellent pitching and timely hitting to defeat No. 2 North Scott 1-0 for the 4A championship. It was their first softball title since 2010, when they earned the Class 3A crown. It's their fifth softball title overall.
"It's a total, total team effort," Flaws said. "I'm just so proud of each and every one of those kids." Each team finished with five hits. Each team spoiled chances for runs. Each team got stellar performances on the mound. In a game of inches, though, this game was ultimately decided in two spots. First, Delaney Schnathorst hit a two-out, infield single in the third. She stole second base, and then Alyvvia DuBois knocked her in with a single up the middle to give Carlisle (38-3) the early one-run lead. That was North Scott's final scoring opportunity of the game.
"Man, this is a feeling we've been talking about for 365 days, from last year," said Preston, who was named 4A's all-tournament team captain. "And just to see all myself and my teammates all incredibly happy, it's so hard to explain how blessed we are to have the community we had here tonight and just to have the people by our side through this whole long journey."