SPIRIT LAKE - Since losing three of four games against at the Spencer Tournament, the Spirit Lake Softball Team enters the Class 3A State Tournament next week with a eight-game win-streak.
Five of those games were decided by one run, including all three regional games-9-8 over Sheldon, 3-2 over No. 7 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley and 6-5 over No. 14 Osage.
The Indians are batting .312 as a team with four sophomores leading the offense. Bailee Newman is batting .414 while Mackenzie Thate is at .412, Caitlyn Roberts at .375 and Whitlee Reitz ad .326.
The Indians drew No. 3 Clarke, a team batting a lofty .328. Clarke also needed some late heroics as they defeated ADM, Adel 4-3 with a walkoff hit in the seventh inning to advance to the state tournament.
The two teams meet at 3 p.m., Monday at the state tournament at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge.
Fans may find disconcerting that both teams' mascots are the Indians.
Clarke will be looking to get back to the state championship game after losing 6-3 to Bondurant-Farrar in 2013.
Clarke has one its last six games with its last loss to Urbandale, 3-0, on June 28. Prior to that, Clarke was riding a nine-game winning streak following four losses at a tournament Cedar Rapids (June 13-14).
Clarke features a senior pitchers in Libby Bernis, who has a 23-3 record with a 1.15 earned run average with 218 strikes, 33 walks and five hit batters in 26 starts. Of the 35 runs allowed while she was on the mound, 27 were earned.
Spirit Lake relies on sophomore Bailee Newman, a three-year starter with a 20-6 record this season. She has a 1.98 earned run average with 150 strikeouts compared to 42 walks and six hit batters. Of the 88 runs she's allowed, 46 were earned.
On the other side of the bracket is sixth-ranked Center Point-Urbana (28-9) and unranked Greene County (27-7). No. 2 East Marshall (32-3) is the highest ranked team in the tournament as top-ranked Benton lost to Mid-Prairie 6-5 in the regional finale.