Cougars blank Gaels, reach state for 1st time since 2015

The AGWSR softball team poses with its state-qualifying banner after defeating Fort Dodge St. Edmond in the Class 1A regional final at Ackley on Monday, July 9. (Jake Ryder/Mid-America Publishing)

ACKLEY – Scott O’Brien would expect some nerves.

With only two juniors and two seniors on this summer’s roster, AGWSR softball’s co-head coach is noticing how laid back the young Cougars team is – a focused group of girls playing well above their average age.

Laid back shouldn’t be confused for passivity, however. The Cougars are plenty aggressive in the batter’s box and on the base paths. Combine that with overwhelming pitching from one of the best pitchers in the state this year in Cougar junior Taryan Barrick, and expectations for O’Brien become a little different.

Fourth-ranked AGWSR pounded No. 10 Fort Dodge St. Edmond 9-0 in Ackley on Monday night, winning a 1A regional final to advance to the state tournament for the first time since the Cougars won the 1A state title in 2015.

The full story appears in the July 11 print and online editions of the Hampton Chronicle.