FORT DODGE - A top six finish three straight years in the state softball tournament? Sounds like a pretty good rsum.
After finishing fifth in 2011 and fourth in 2012, the Estherville Lincoln Central Softball Team split its final two softball games of the 2013 season and added a sixth-place trophy.
ELC coach Megan Anderson said that after losing the first game to Sergeant Bluff-Luton on Monday, the team really wanted to win the first consolation game Wednesday to have a chance to play for fifth and sixth. They came up with the 11-5 victory over ninth-ranked Monticello, but lost 6-2 to fourth-ranked Mid-Prairie in the consolation final.
ELC’s Emily Kirchner heads for home as coach Megan Anderson cheers from the third-base coach’s box. Kirchner would be safe in a close play at the plate.
EDN photo by David Swartz
"We're very proud of the girls," said ELC coach Megan Anderson. "No one expected us to get this far and we ended up sixth in the state."
Mid-Prairie struck first in the game for fifth place.
The Golden Hawks' Mallory McArtor hit a leadoff single, stole second and went to third after tagging up when Felicia Schulty flew out to right field for the second out. Cleanup batter Maddie Kaalberg then came up with a single up the middle to score the run.
ELC went down in order the first two innings. Rachel Bates led off the third inning by reaching base on a Mid-Prairie error. She stole second and went to third when Kristen King reached first on a dropped third strike. Macy Dahl then came up with the RBI single.
But in the bottom of the third inning, Mid-Prairie scored a run on one hit and an ELC two-out error to retake the lead for good.
Then the bottom of Mid-Prairie's order came up with three straight hits with one out in the fourth inning. That scored one run and a second run scored when ELC tried to get the tag at home plate on a bunt by McArtor. With two outs, Schulty hit a two-RBI double before ELC got out of the inning.
ELC's last run of the season came on a one-out home run over the left-field fence by Caitlyn Clayton-her ninth of the year. Seven of her home runs came in the final 10 games of the season with two at the state tournament.
Megan Jensen followed with a single, but two pop-ups ended the inning. In the seventh inning, ELC had a one-out single from Dahl.
ELC finished with six hits with Dahl going 2-4 with an RBI. Clayton was 1-3 with an RBI while Jensen was 1-2 and Gjerde and Kirchner each finished 1-3.
Brashear pitched six innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on 11 hits with two strikeout and no walks.
Mid-Prairies' Taylor Kurtz earned the win. She went six innings and gave up two earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Olivia Lugar pitched one inning and gave up one hit.
ELC finishes the season with a 21-12 record. Playing in their final high school game were seniors shortstop Emily Kirchner, second baseman Macy Dahl and outfielder Kristen King.
ELC001 001 0 - 2 6 1
Mid-Prairie101 400 x - 6 11 1
WP - Taylor Kurtz. LP - Liz Brashear
E - Kirchner, Em; Kaalberg, Ma. LOB - E-LC 7; Mid-Prairie 6. 2B - Schulty, Fel. HR - Clayton, Cai. SB - Kirchner, Em; Bates, Rache; McArtor, Mal; Duwa, Lexi.