Sheldon 7, ELC 4: Not this time
It was a bittersweet home opener for the Estherville Lincoln Central softball team.
Winning the first three Lakes Conference games, each by a one-run margin, the Midgettes were on the verge of a fourth such victory.
However, Sheldon didn’t cooperate as the Orabs hit three one-out singles and scored four runs in the top of the seventh to win 7-4 on Thursday.
“They (Sheldon) hit the ball really well and our defense wasn’t as strong tonight,” said ELC coach Megan Anderson.
Prior to the seventh, the two teams matched each other run for run.
ELC scored first when Sadie Winter drew a one-out walk and scored on an RBI double by Emily Kirchner.
Sheldon answered in the top of the second with a one-out single, a sacrifice bunt and a single by Kelly Van Wyk combined with an ELC error.
ELC immediately retook the lead with Maggie Asman hitting a one-out solo home run in the second inning-her first of the season-for a 2-1 Midgette lead.
Sheldon again scored with two outs in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI double followed by an RBI single from Van Wyk.
ELC’s Caitlyn Swisher singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning and went to second when the right fielder made an error on the play.
Morgan Schichtl then hit a grounder to third baseman Becca Fisher and pinch runner Kellie Christensen scored when Fisher overthrew first base.
Schichtl scored when Asman grounded out to the pitcher as ELC led 4-3.
In the top of the seventh, Christine Cain hit a one-out single and then pitcher Shelby Vogel helped her cause with a single up the middle. Fisher then took a swing at the ball and it stopped a few feet to the right side of home plate-good for an infield single.
That loaded the bases for Liz Ihnen who singled on a 1-2 pitch. That brought in two runs and an ELC error allowed another run to score.
That was all the Orabs needed, but Rachel Ihnen added an RBI single for the final run.
ELC’s Kendall Bosch drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh and Taylar Jacobson reached base when Sheldon tried to get pinch runner Jessica Phillips out at second. Sadie Winter grounded out to second to move the runners to second and third, but Kirchner went down swinging to end the game.
Bosch took the loss. She struck out eight batters and walked two in the loss.
At the plate, Kirchner was 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Swisher was 1-2, Asman was 1-3 with two RBi, Schichtl was 1-3 with an RBI, Brooke Egeland was 1-3 and Jacobson was 1-4.
ELC (5-2, 3-1) is home this weekend for the ELC Softball Classic.
Play starts at 9:30 a.m. with the Midgettes taking on Graettinger/Terril.
The ELC junior varsity defeated Sheldon 12-5.
Melissa Gjerde earned the win as she struck out eight batters and walked one.
At the plate, Allie Sievert was 2-3 with three RBI, Kellie Christensen was 1-2 with two RBI, Jessica Phillips was 1-1 with an RBI and Shelby Jensen was 1-1.
Sheldon010 200 4 – 7 12 1
ELC110 200 0 – 4 6 1
WP – Vogel. LP – Bosch.