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Waukee takes eighth at state tournament

Clint Cole - DCN:  Kaitlyn Menz, shown pitching against Johnston at the state tournament on July 21.
Clint Cole - DCN: Kaitlyn Menz, shown pitching against Johnston at the state tournament on July 21.

The Waukee softball team made the state tournament last week, but lost all three of their games and took eighth place, where they were seeded in the tournament. After losing to Johnston 12-6 in the first round on July 21, they were shut out in the next two games, losing to Cedar Rapids, Jefferson 2-0 in the consolation semifinals and losing to Muscatine 5-0 in the seventh-place game.

The game against Jefferson was a scoreless tie until the top of the seventh inning when the J-Hawks scored the only two runs of the game to defeat the Warriors. Kaitlyn Menz pitched all seven innings and struck out five batters and only allowing two hits, but was still on the hook for the loss.

The Warriors only had three hits against the J-Hawks, including a 2-for-3 performance by leadoff batter and shortstop Claire Dudek.

Against Muscatine, Menz pitched the whole game for the Warriors once again and allowed five hits and five runs, but only one earned run with five strikeouts. The Warriors had eight hits in the game but weren’t able to put any runs up on the board, losing in a shutout.

Menz finished the season with a 15-15 pitching record with a 2.34 earned run average and 170 strikeouts while batters hit .221 against her. Sarah Schaefer was the only other starting pitcher for Waukee this season and she finished with a 10-4 record and a 2.64 ERA.

Dudek had the team’s highest batting average on the season at .439, which is also the only average on the team over .400 while also leading the team in runs with 44. Junior Taylor Luther had the team’s highest on base percentage at .500 and also led the team in home runs with nine.

Shaye Witte had nine triples and 10 doubles, the highest on the team in both categories.

Going into next season, the Warriors will only be losing one starter, Schylir Rowen, who had a .308 batting average this season.

Next year’s team will be an experienced one as they had seven juniors and six sophomores this season who will be juniors and seniors next year.

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