Class 3A Regional Softball – A quick ending
ALGONA – It wasn’t supposed to end this quickly.
The Estherville Lincoln Central softball team took on a hard-hitting Algona squad. In the end, the difference was a three-run home run by the Bulldogs’ Ashley Kajewski that proved the difference in her team’s 6-3 win over the Midgettes in the Class 3A Regional quarterfinal on Saturday.
Algona out-hit ELC 9-5 and the Midgettes can only look at the missed opportunities.
“It was a disappointing end to a good season,” said ELC coach Mindy Breckwald, whose team finishes with a 28-10 record.
The first inning started well enough as Erin Beardsley drew a leadoff walk. Kristi Juergens hit a one-out single that sent Beardsley to third and Juergens went to second on the throw in.
Beardsley scored on a passed ball to give ELC a 1-0 lead.
But then the Bulldog’s shortstop caught a low line drive hit by Christa Christa and doubled up Alex Olesen, who was courtesy running for Juergens, at third base.
ELC’s defense was solid through the first two innings, but the Bulldogs’ showed they were ready to hit as the first two hitters sent shots to the outfield-albeit right at the Midgette defense.
ELC took a 2-0 lead in the third inning as Beardsley reached on an error, took second on a passed ball and scored when Emily Jensen singled up the middle.
The Bulldogs finally got on the board as No. 8 hitter Brittany Vaske led off with a single. Two outs and a passed ball later, Vaske was at third. Brittany Meyer hit a ball that shortstop Clayton had to go deep to snag and the throw wasn’t in time.
ELC starter Amanda Christensen then recorded her first strikeout as ELC led 2-1 after three.
The Bulldogs went to work in the fourth inning with consecutive singles by Mackenzie Siefken and Megan Gerhardt. Christensen struck out Kaitlyn Sewick for the first out, but Chelsea Korf hit an RBI double.
Vaske then hit a grounder to third baseman Melanie Bandow, who threw home with Kristi Juergens laying the tag on Gerhardt for the second out.
No. 9 batter Kellie Morris delivered an RBI single to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
Kendall Bosch entered in relief of Christensen as the Bulldogs started the top of the order with Kajewski.
Bosch three straight pitches around the knees for a 2-1 count, but the next pitch was perfect for Kajewski who sent the ball over the left-field fence.
Bosch then struck out Zeller to get out of the inning.
ELC appeared ready to bounce back in the top of the fifth as Jordan Jacobson singled up the middle and Bosch reached on an error. A single by Taylar Jacobson loaded the bases with no outs.
Jordan Jacobson scored on a passed ball, but that was all the damage ELC could do. Beardsley and Jjensen both popped up and Juergens hit a grounder to the third baseman to end the threat.
ELC ran out of chances quickly in the last two innings. ELC had two pop-ups to start the sixth inning followed by a single by Bandow, but she was ELC’s last baserunner.
ELC went down in order the final inning on a strikeout and two more pop-ups.
Christensen took the loss as she went 3 2/3 innings, striking out seven batters with two strikeouts and no walks.
In 2 1/3 innings, Bosch struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits.
Algona’s Siefken earned the win as she struck out four batters and walked one.
At the plate, Jensen, Juergens, Bandow and Jordan Jacobson and Taylar Jacobson were all 1-3.
Playing in their final game for ELC were seniors Erin Beardsley, Kristi Juergens, Christa Clayton, Brenna Wenger, Melanie Bandow, Jordan Jacobson and Amanda Christensen.
The Bulldogs (13-19) played at Spencer on Monday.
ELC101 010 0 – 3 5 0
Algona001 500 x – 6 9 2
ELC – Christensen (LP), Bosch (4) and Juergens. Algona – Siefken (WP) and Sewick. 2B – A: Korf. HR – A: Kajewski.