A-P softball sustains early burst for regional triumph

Aplington-Parkersburg's Sarah Gaul pitches during Monday's regional softball game against Denver. (Jake Ryder photo)

PARKERSBURG – Aplington-Parkersburg softball got the bats going again at the right time on Monday night.


More importantly, the Falcon defense stepped up to make the plays when Denver tried to answer, and A-P held on for a 9-7 win in a first-round Class 2A Region 7 contest at Aplington-Parkersburg High School.


The Falcons improved to 7-19 overall and advance to face North Linn, the top-ranked team in 2A and 36-4 overall, in Troy Mills at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


Sarah Gaul was steady in the face of Denver threats late in the game, allowing seven earned runs on nine hits with seven walks but striking out eight batters.


"We have a game-winning mindset right now," Gaul said. "I do my best in the circle, it's all I can do, but I also know I have a great defense behind me."


Leading 9-6 heading into the seventh inning, Denver got a two-out rally going on back-to-back walks, and Jaden McMahon scored during Sami Gehrke's at-bat on a wild pitch to make the score 9-7. Gaul hit Gehrke to put her on base and Denver had runners on the corners for Reese Johnson, who grounded to short in what was a very close play at first for the third out.


"I told the girls to just stay nice and relaxed and have some fun," A-P head coach Charity Rosteck said of the seventh inning tensions. "We knew we could do it, we just had to relax and let good things happen."


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