The road to the Class 5A state tournament will be a tough one for both the Ankeny and Ankeny Centennial softball teams. Both squads will likely have to beat at least one ranked opponent on the road in order to earn a trip to Fort Dodge next month.
Centennial has been placed in Region 2 by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union. The Jaguars (19-10) will host Des Moines Hoover (11-8), last year’s Class 4A state champion, in a regional semifinal on July 13 at 7 p.m.
Second-ranked Valley (22-5) will host Des Moines North (0-23) or Des Moines Lincoln (8-20) in the other semifinal. If the Tigers win, they would also host the regional final on July 16 at 7 p.m.
Former Centennial player Haley Gatica is one of Valley’s top pitchers, boasting a 9-2 record with a 1.08 ERA. She is also batting .397 with four home runs and 16 RBIs.
Ankeny has been placed in Region 3 by the IGHSAU. The Hawkettes (16-11) will play at No. 12 Des Moines East (19-10) in a regional semifinal on July 13 at 7 p.m.
The two teams split a doubleheader on June 20 at Ankeny. Both games were decided by one run.
No. 3 Fort Dodge (21-5) will host Sioux City East (14-10) or Sioux City West (3-19) in the other semifinal. If the Dodgers win, they would also host the regional final on July 16 at 7 p.m.