Done in by the long ball
EMMETSBURG – With a share of the Lakes Conference title on the line, Estherville Lincoln Central saw their hopes dashed by two Emmetsburg homeruns, lifting the E’Hawks past the Midgettes, 4-2 on Tuesday evening.
“The long ball just did us in tonight,” said ELC coach Megan Anderson. “I thought the girls played very well, probably the best they could play, but those two hits were the difference.”
After an extended leave due to a right shoulder injury, Kendall Bosch made her return to the circle as a late addition on Tuesday, replacing Brooke Egeland who was scheduled to start at pitcher.
“I decided to make the switch after talking with Kendall and with the trainer during warm ups,” said Anderson. “She threw all of her pitches and said she felt ready to go. I thought she did a really good job for missing so much time.”
Bosch was solid for ELC, especially in the middle innings after surrendering the E’Hawks first homerun of the game, a moon shot to straight away center by right fielder Kendall Corley in the second inning.
Bosch then sat down seven straight batters to keep the Midgettes in the contest.
Down 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning, the ELC offense finally caught fire.
Emily Kirchner led the inning off with a double and after moving to second base on a wild pitch, scored on a ground out by Morgan Schichtl.
Bosch then helped her cause with a one-out double and eventually scored as Allie Sievert connected on a double of her own to put ELC on top 2-1.
The E’Hawks threatened in the bottom half of the fifth as Corley led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. However, a ground ball out was followed by a spectacular diving catch by Kirchner to end the threat.
Unfortunately ELC failed to extend its lead in the top of the sixth despite having a runner in scoring position as Kirchner led the inning off with a single. After Schichtl moved Kirchner to second with a sac bunt, the E’Hawks star pitcher Maddie Woodruff struck out the next two Midgette batters to end the inning.
Down one-run and with their chances dwindling, the E’Hawks made their move.
Alex Lock and Nicole Hasbrook each connected on one-out singles before a passed ball put both in scoring position.
Then with the count at 2-2, Morgan Vlasman launched a shot that cleared the left field fence giving the E’Hawks a 4-2 lead that they would not relinquish.
Bosch went all six innings for ELC and gave up six hits while striking out three.
The Midgettes collected five hits on the night as Sievert, Taylor Lago and Kellie Christenen were each 1-3.
Kirchner was 1-4 and Bosch was 1-2.
With the loss, ELC finishes as Lakes Conference runners-up with an 11-3 record and is 17-13 overall.
Emmetsburg wins the conference outright with a 13-1 record.
ELC returns to action is the Midgettes will take on Hartley-Melvin-Sanborne in the first round of Districts on Thursday in Hartley.