Lakes race over, now it’s …Tournament Time!
The 2008 Lakes Conference softball race provided plenty of excitement with the champion finally decided on the final night of the regular season.
Estherville Lincoln Central fans know the Midgettes held the advantage with just one conference loss until the final week of June. ELC then suffered consecutive losses to LeMars and Spencer.
That gave the Tigers the advantage as they had just two losses to start the week. But Spencer suffered a 3-0 loss to Storm Lake on Monday setting up Wednesday’s scenario with the Midgettes, Tornadoes and Tigers all with a 12-3 record.
Spencer traveled to LeMars and lost 5-0 while ELC was one out away from beating Emmetsburg when the E’Hawks rallied to win 2-1 in eight innings.
Storm Lake took care of business with a 3-0 win over Spirit Lake to win the 2008 Lakes Conference title alone.
Tornado coach Jason Stoltzfus said the coaches talked all year how tough the Lakes Conference would be. His team suffered an early loss to Western Christian and losses to ELC and Spencer.
“Three things had to happen for us to win and so we kind of snuck in the back door,” he said.
Now all the teams receive a fresh start with tournament play.
ELC steps outside the conference for its Region 1 3A quarterfinal with a 7 p.m. game at Algona today.
The two teams met on May 31 at the ELC Tournament. Algona scored five runs in the first inning and the Midgettes rallied for an 8-6 victory. Only one Bulldog was earned as ELC committed four errors.
A season of play will show how both have improved.
The winner will play either Spirit Lake or Spencer in Monday’s regional semifinal at Spencer.
In the top half of the Region 1 bracket, other quarterfinal games are Sioux City Bishop Heelan vs. LeMars and MOC-Floyd Valley vs. Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
No. 3 Sergeant Bluff-Luton is the only rated team in the bracket.
Monday’s winner advances to the regional final on Wednesday at Spencer.