Pioneers avenge 2007 loss
There was no rally this time.
In a rematch of last year’s Class 2A District title game, Estherville Lincoln Central and Okoboji met the softball field in the season opener on Monday.
In the 2007 game, the Midgettes rallied from a 3-1 deficit with a four-run sixth inning to beat the Pioneers 5-3.
Monday’s game was a pitchers’ duel between senior aces–Amanda Christensen for ELC and Amanda Von Ehwegen for the Pioneers–and two veteran teams. Okoboji returns their entire lineup from a year ago. The Midgettes graduated one senior from 2007.
This time, ELC couldn’t rally from a 2-0 deficit and lost 2-1 to start the 2008 season.
Hits were scarce throughout the night.
Both pitchers and defenses retired the first nine batters.
The Pioneers opened up the game with a bunt single by Allison Von Ehwegen in the top of the fourth. After a sacrifice bunt followed by a put out, ELC prepared ready to get out of the jam. But the Pioneers came up with back-to-back singles to score two runs.
ELC didn’t answer until the bottom of the fifth when cleanup batter Christa Clayton surprised the defense with a bunt single. She moved to second on the sacrifice bunt by Jordan Jacobson. Melanie Bandow then hit the ball up the middle to score Clayton. Two fly-outs later, the threat ended.
“The second time through the lineup, we were more disciplined at the plate,” said ELC coach Mindy Brechwald. “It’s early.”
ELC looked to tie the game in the sixth when Taylar Jacobson drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice by Erin Beardsley. But both Amanda Christensen and Kristi Juergens flew out to end the threat.
ELC’s defensive highlight of the night came after the Midgettes’ first error to start the seventh.
Juergens threw out the runner trying to steal second and Christensen recorded a strikeout for the final out.
However, ELC couldn’t come up with any offense in the bottom of the seventh, going down in order.
Christensen and Von Ehwegen both had four strikeouts and one walk with Von Ehwegen earning the win.
However the Pioneers had four hits to just two for ELC.
ELC (0-1) hosts Sioux City North on Wednesday.
Okoboji 000 200 0 – 2 4 0
ELC 000 010 0 – 1 2 1
Okoboji – Von Ehwegen and Jones. ELC – Christensen and Juergens.