WC native Jim Flaws has No. 1 Carlisle back in 4A semifinals

Wildcats bunt way to 10-1 rout of Denison-Schleswig

Carlisle head coach and Webster City native Jim Flaws questions a call during his team’s 10-1 win over Denison-Schleswig at the state softball tournament yesterday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

FORT DODGE — Making a mid-summer pilgrimage to the state softball tournament never gets old for Webster City native Jim Flaws. He hopes to head home later this week toting a shiny new trophy too.

And if yesterday’s performance by his top-ranked Carlisle team is any indication, he’s got a good chance.

Flaws has his team at state for the 17th time in his Hall of Fame career and the Wildcats are two wins away from giving their coach a fifth championship following a 10-1 rout of unranked Denison-Schleswig in a Class 4A state quarterfinal on Kruger Seeds Field.

“It’s about the same feeling every time we come here,” Flaws said. “That was a total team effort too. We didn’t have a lot of heroes with home runs or hits, but we had a lot of running bases, stealing bases, bunting, bunting, bunting … it’s team, not individual softball.”

He’s not lying.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

A power hitting team when it wants to be, Carlisle resorted to small ball to march the Monarchs slowly into the consolation round. The Wildcats (36-3) put down seven bunts, four that went for sacrifices and two that led to infield singles.

Alyvia Dubois, the seventh of eight sisters to star for the Wildcats, had a pair of sacrifices — a bunt in the third inning and a fly ball to left in the sixth — to go along with a bunt single and three RBIs. The all-state shortstop knew that the pressure would eventually get to Denison-Schleswig.

“Usually when we get up like that it’s because of bunting and squeezing and stealing bases,” Dubois, who will play collegiately at UNI, said. “I bunt two to three times per game it seems like.”

Going the small-ball route was the game plan, Flaws said, and his crew executed it to near perfection.

“That was our goal,” he said. “I wrote down that we need to make sure we bunt strikes, not riseballs, and when runners get in scoring position we need to make sure to hit the ball on the ground. I’m pretty pleased with that effort.”

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Ahead 3-1 after three innings, Carlisle broke it open with a six-run fourth that featured just two hits — back-to-back bunt singles by Delaney Schnathorst and Dubois. The constant pressure led to three Monarch errors, and pitcher Sarah Heilesen also walked two and plunked another batter.

“Small ball is definitely a big thing for Carlisle softball, kind of what we’re known for,” Schnathorst, who went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, two stolen bases and an RBI, said.

Kennedy Preston added two hits at the top of the order for Carlisle, which swiped six bases in the contest.

Monarchs’ lead-off stick Alex Mohr accounted for all three of her team’s hits, while the rest of the lineup went a combined 0 for 20 with six strikeouts against Carlisle hurlers Molly Hoekstra and Lexxi Link.

Mohr took the first pitch of the game from Hoekstra — a riseball that didn’t rise, according to Flaws — and deposited it over the fence in center field for a solo home run. She doubled to right field in the third inning and then to left in the sixth.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

If the dinger bothered Hoekstra, she didn’t show it. She fanned the next three batters she faced and had stretches where she retired eight and six in a row during her six innings of three-hit ball.

Carlisle will tangle with sixth-ranked West Delaware in today’s semifinals at 3:30 p.m. on Iowa Central Field. West Delaware disposed of fifth-ranked Independence, 8-2, in a quarterfinal yesterday.

Carlisle 10, Denison-Schleswig 1

Class 4A State Quarterfinal

Tuesday at Fort Dodge

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

D-S 100 000 0 — 1 3 4

Carlisle 201 601 x — 10 6 0

Sarah Heilesen and Alex Mohr. Mallory Hoekstra, Lexxi Link (7) and Kennedy Preston. W — Hoekstra. L — Heilesen. Multiple hits — D-S: Mohr (3); Carlisle: Preston, Delaney Schnathorst. 2B — D-S: Mohr (2). HR — D-S: Mohr. RBI — D-S: Mohr; Carlisle: Alyvia Dubois (3), Schnathorst, Kennady Prenosil.