By John Bohnenkamp
It wasn’t easy picking the final No. 1 of the Iowa softball season, given the strength of the championship games at the state tournament.
It’s Winterset, barely, at the top of the five-class rankings in the final poll.
The Class 4A state champions edged 5A champion Waukee Northwest for the top spot. Winterset went 37-4, including a 21-1 record against teams in its own class and a 7-2 mark against Class 5A schools.
The other three state champions — Twin Cedars (1A), Iowa City Regina (2A) and Mount Vernon (3A) — complete the final rankings.
A look at the Top 25:
1. Winterset (37-4)
The Raccoon River Conference champions had wins over Fort Dodge (2nd in 5A), Williamsburg (3rd in 4A), and outscored their opponents 20-4 in three state tournament games.
2. Waukee Northwest (35-7)
The first-year program made an immediate impact, closing the season with wins over Muscatine and Fort Dodge to win the 5A title.
3. Mount Vernon (36-4)
The 3A champions closed the season with an eight-game winning streak.
4. Twin Cedars (29-3)
The 1A champions rarely strayed from their class this season but dominated against their schedule. Closed the season with eight consecutive wins.
5. Iowa City Regina (24-11)
The 2A champions were at their best at the end, closing with a six-game winning streak.
6. Fort Dodge (37-7)
The Dodgers were No. 1 in the Varsity Bound power rankings. They split their regular-season games with Waukee Northwest before losing to them in the 5A final.
7. Dallas Center-Grimes (35-7)
The 4A runner-up dominated in postseason play until the championship game,
8. Davenport Assumption (36-9)
Assumption had a nine-game winning streak snapped in the 3A championship game.
9. Southeast Warren (25-5)
The 1A runner-up had a 12-game winning streak at one point in the season and had a seven-game streak snapped in the championship game.
10. Wilton (28-7)
The 2A runner-up went 4-0 against 4A and 5A teams this season.
11. Muscatine (37-5)
The Muskies were fourth in the state power rankings and finished third in the powerful 5A bracket at state.
12. Williamsburg (34-11)
The 3A third-place team went 17-6 against 4A and 5A teams this season.
13. Central Springs (33-2)
The 2A third-place team was the top-ranked team among its class in the state power rankings.
14. North Scott (30-11)
The Lancers, the 4A third-place team, had a 13-game winning streak earlier in the season.
15. North Linn (33-10)
The 1A third-place team went 21-1 against teams from its Tri-Rivers West conference.
16. West Des Moines Valley (27-15)
Valley played the second-toughest schedule in the state, and finished fourth in Class 5A.
17. Carlisle (28-12)
The 4A fourth-place team had a six-game winning streak before falling in its final two games.
18. Martensdale St. Mary’s (26-4)
The 1A fourth-place team had the second-highest power ranking in its class.
19. Saydel (32-6)
The 3A fourth-place team went 10-1 against 4A and 5A schools.
20. North Union (33-5)
The 2A fourth-place team had an 11-game winning streak before losses to Wilton and Central Springs.
21. Waukee (26-15)
Ranked 16th in the final state power rankings, finished fifth in Class 5A.
22. Norwalk (30-8)
Finished fifth in Class 4A.
23. Indianola (28-13)
Defeated ADM for one of the fifth-place spots in 4A.
24. ADM (31-6)
One of the state’s best teams all season lost twice at the 4A state tournament.
25. Johnston (32-5)
Ranked fifth in the state power rankings, but didn’t make it to state, losing to Waukee in a 5A regional final.