Jordan Lukes finished her senior campaign with a hit in the regional quarterfinal versus Kee, as well as a four-inning pitching appearance. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Jordan Lukes finished her senior campaign with a hit in the regional quarterfinal versus Kee, as well as a four-inning pitching appearance. (Photo by Becky Walz)

The Turkey Valley softball team fell to Kee High in the regional quarterfinals Wednesday, July 15, in Jackson Junction, ending its 2020 season.

After winning the Upper Iowa Conference for the first time in 10 years, the Lady Trojans end the year 17-2, while Kee (9-6) fell to Newman Catholic in the semifinals Friday.

Kee jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first on a double and two-run homer by Macy Manning. In the second, the Hawks loaded the bases again with one out. A Kee bunt right back to Josie Weber allowed the TV pitcher to fire to Kara Reicks at home plate to get the Hawk lead runner. Reicks finished off the double play with a rocket fired at Aleah Hackman at first, allowing the Red and White to escape a big Kee inning.

Back on offense, Trojan senior Jordan Lukes reached base on an error before Ali Hoffert was issued a walk, setting up Jaedyn Winter’s long line drive to the centerfield fence, driving in the two runs. 

Trailing 3-2, Kee’s Manning sent her second ball of the night out of the park on a solo homer. The devastation continued as the Hawks rattled off 12 runs in the third frame, including a two-out grand slam by Elena Rolfs. Looking to retaliate, TV loaded the bases twice in the bottom of the third inning, driving in six runs. A quick fourth stanza for both squads led to two runs to cross home plate in the fifth for the Hawks’ lead.

With the scoreboard showing 18-8, the Trojans needed a run to stay alive in the bottom of the fifth before the mercy rule was enacted, but it wasn’t meant to be, as Kee sat down the final TV batter to win. 

However, the game wasn’t over. After reviewing official books, the scoreboard was deemed to be inaccurate — giving TV renewed life at 17-8. The Hawks tagged on two runs in the sixth and the Trojans responded in kind with two of their own. Drawing a walk, Reicks raced the base paths as Lukes was in the batter’s box for a hit to right field. Hawk throwing errors allowed Reicks to score, while Lukes later scored on a sacrifice. Staying alive at 19-10, the Trojans would fall in the seventh with no more runs scored.

“I have to start by giving Kee credit for hitting the ball hard off of Josie. That’s the most solid contact anyone has hit off of her all year. We just couldn’t get out of that 3rd inning. They scored eight runs with two outs. We played hard the rest of the game but it was just too much to come back from,” said Coach Junior Hackman. “It was a great season; I’m thankful we had the opportunity to play this summer, especially for our two seniors, who had so many other things taken away from their senior year of high school. We’re going to miss Jaedyn and Jordan, they were great players and teammates for me the last three years.”

For the Trojans, Jaedyn Winter and Jalyssa Blazek each had a double with Winter driving in three runs and Blazek two. Picking up TV’s other hits were Josie Weber, Aleah Hackman and Jordan Lukes.

Weber opened the contest in the pitcher’s circle for the loss, while Lukes came in to twirl in relief in the final four frames to record one strikeout.

As Turkey Valley concludes its season, it will graduate two seniors — Jordan Lukes and Jaedyn Winter.