Midgettes dig the LONG BALL
MILFORD – Back, back, back, back, back, GONE! Even ESPN’s Chris Berman would have had a tough time keeping up during Monday night’s contest between Estherville Lincoln Central and Spirit Lake, as the Midgettes went yard three times to blow out the Indians, 10-1.
On the eve of Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby, the Midgettes put on a powerful display of their own as Brooke Egeland launched a three-run homer to ignite a seven-run inning that vaulted ELC to a 7-1 lead and back-to-back shots by Emily Kirchner and Morgan Schichtl in the sixth capped off the scoring for the Midgettes.
“I’m really proud of the girls for coming back after being down early,”?said ELC coach Megan Anderson. “In the last game against Spirit Lake we put up four runs in the fifth inning, so coming into the fifth I told the girls, ‘This is our inning,’ and they went out there looking to hit and they hit it hard.”
The Indians got off to a 1-0 lead after Allie Gerking led the game off with a single and eventually came around to score on a passed ball.
“That put some pressure on us, definitely,”?said Anderson. “At this stage everyone is playing to win. You either win or you’re done, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
After giving up the run, ELC pitcher Kendall Bosch buckled down and retired 10 of the next 11 Indian batters she faced.
Leading off in the top of the fifth inning for ELC was Ashley Weston, who singled before Kellie Christensen connected on a bunt single.
Egeland originally got the sign from?Anderson to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position, but failed to get a bunt down cleanly.
“I?really just wanted her to get the runners over with no outs so we could at least have a shot at tying it,”?said Anderson.
Good fortune smiled on the Midgettes as Egeland, forced to swing away, drove the ball deep over the right-center field fence to put ELC?up 3-1.
“Brooke has been doing that lately,”?said Anderson. “She’s been hitting the ball hard. We’ve been stressing offense for a few weeks and it’s starting to pay off.”
Egeland’s homer was followed by singles by Kirchner, Schichtl, Bosch and Weston and a two-RBI double by Allie Sievert that led to a 7-1 ELC?lead.
With two out in the top of the sixth, and the momentum now clearly in ELC’s favor, Kirchner launched a towering fly ball that cleared the left field fence and the very next batter Schichtl went the opposite way for back-to-back jacks.
“That was a crazy couple of innings,”?said Anderson. “I?think once we got those first few runs, the pressure was off and the girls started to have fun.”
Bosch went the distance for ELC, earning the victory. She struck out four and allowed four hits.
Egeland was 2-5 with two runs scored and three RBI.
Kirchner was 2-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Schichtl was 2-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Bosch was 2-3 with one run scored and an RBI.
Weston was 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Sievert was 1-4 with a run scored and two RBI while Taylor Lago was 1-4 and Christensen was 1-3 with a run scored.
Cara Vale took the loss for the Indians.
Gerking, Paige Krause, Vale and Brianna Brunsvold recorded Spirit Lake’s only hits in the contest.
Spirit Lake’s season ends with a 21-14 overall record while ELC improves its record to 20-13 and advances to face Hinton in the final on Wednesday in Cherokee.
Hinton was an 8-3 winner over West Lyon on Monday.