FORT DODGE — The Class 4A Consolation Semifinal betwen No. 15 Perry and No. 14 Creston should have been an even match, but it was not, and the main reason was Jayette ace Emma Olejniczak.
The junior strikeout queen set a new Class 4A state tourney record for strikeouts in a seven-inning game by retiring 16 Panthers on strikes. Olejniczak’s gem is also the most strikeouts in a regulation game at the state tourney since 2012, when five classes began play. Her 16 Ks trails only two others for most strikeouts in a seven-inning game in the history of the state tourney (Ashley Potter of Okoboji had 18 in 2005 in a four-class tourney, and Jen Bice of W-G had 18 in 1997 for the all-time standard).
Perry went on to win, 6-0, before falling to unranked Charles City, 11-7, in the fifth-place game.
By finishing sixth at the state tourney, the Jayettes (25-14) placed higher than 42 other schools in their class. With Carlisle second and Boone fourth, the Raccoon River Conference had teams place 2-4-6, and, with ADM (a 2-0 loss to eighth-place finisher Heelan Catholic) and Winterset (a 3-1 loss to seventh-place Creston) upset in the regionals, the RRC might easily have had five of their eight teams playing in Fort Dodge.
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