(Coon Rapids) Newell-Fonda jumped on Exira-EHK early on and set the tone in Monday night's Class 1A Region 8 Final. Newell-Fonda will be making their 7th appearance at the state softball tournament in the last 9 seasons.
The Mustangs got a run in the first inning on an illegal pitch, a walk, and a throwing error. Junior pitcher Renee Maneman who was dominant from start to finish. She allowed only three hits in the game and retired the first two batters in order in six of the seven innings. Exira-EHK had only six base runners all night. Newell-Fonda created separation in the 3rd innings when Maneman led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 2-0 game. Then Newell-Fonda catcher Taylor Lago smacked a two run homer to left field to make it 4-0. The Mustangs would take a 5-0 lead in the fifth when an Exira-EHK error allowed Jordan Wilken to reach safely and then use her speed to get around the basses. Exira-EHK's lone run was scored in the seventh by Carly Paulsen who was driven in by a Jessica Wood base hit to right field.
#12 Exira-EHK falls to 24-8 at season's end. They lose only one senior starter. Coach Jana Smith commented after the game that she is excited for next season. The core group for the Spartans features seven underclassmen. #4 Newell-Fonda improves to 35-6 heading into the state tourney.