PATIENCE AND POWER

SHEFFIELD – Patience and power – one takes discipline and the other comes from talent and an awful lot of hard work.

South Hamilton showed it’s got both in Wednesday’s Class 2A Region 3 quarterfinal against West Fork and the end result was a second postseason blowout in as many nights.

Nine more hits, including Carly Swenson’s team-best sixth home run of the season, and seven walks pushed the Hawks to a 14-1, 3-inning beat down of the Warhawks. The win shoved South Hamilton (16-16) into tonight’s semifinal round where it will face seventh-ranked and regional favorite Central Springs (25-5) on its home field in Manly at 7 p.m.

But will the Hawks be intimidated? Hardly.

In the first two rounds of the postseason, South Hamilton has outscored its opponents 28-1 on the strength of 28 hits. Nine of those hits have gone for extra bases.

“I feel like the girls are on a mission right now. They have a goal (to get to the state tournament) and they’re going after it,” South Hamilton head coach Laura Read said. “We’re in a really good place right now.”

An eight-run first inning, courtesy of three hits and five free passes from West Fork pitcher Ahna Larson, set Wednesday’s drubbing into motion. The Hawks added a run in the second and then exploded for five more in the third to finish off the Warhawks (13-11).

Swenson, Ady Wintermote and Alyssa Hegland all went 2-for-3 at the plate. Swenson’s two-run blast occurred in the third inning and she also smacked a RBI single. Wintermote plated a pair of runs with a base hit in the first.

Tiffany Jacobson and Alissa Moss both laced doubles, and they collected three and two RBI, respectively. Kayla Carlson added a single.

Wintermote yielded just one hit from inside the pitcher’s circle. She walked one and, for the second night in a row, was helped out by a mistake-free defense.

The winner of tonight’s regional semifinal will advance to within one game of the state tournament. Either Manson-Northwest Webster or Belmond-Klemme will complete the regional final match-up, which will be Monday night in Mason City.