Midgets unable to hold off Indian rally
Having rallied to win Lakes Conference games twice in the past week, Estherville Lincoln Central found itself on the other side as Spirit Lake rallied from a five-run deficit in the top of the seventh and then won 11-8 in nine innings on Wednesday.
The Midgets had built a 4-1 deficit thanks to a bases-clearing double by Megan Jensen that made the score 4-1.
Spirit Lake’s Josie Fagen cut the lead to two with a two-out solo home run in the fourth inning.
In the sixth inning, the Midgets had runners on second and third when Jensen returned to the plate again. It appeared Spirit Lake was prepared to walk Jensen-who had two doubles on the night. But a pitch came right down the center and Jensen hit it out of the park for a three-run home run.
With the momentum on ELC’s side, the Midgets needed just three outs so secure the win.
But the Midgets couldn’t get them. After a leadoff single by Kelsey Delperdang, the Indian batters suddenly began hitting the ball hard and ELC wasn’t making the plays with at least three errors in the inning. Spirit Lake sent seven batters to the plate scoring six runs before ELC retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Suddenly down 8-7, Caitlyn Clayton led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a triple and then scored on a passed ball to tie the game. But Spirit Lake retired the next three batters to send the game into extra innings.
A couple walks helped the Indians load the bases in the eighth inning, but ELC’s defense came through in preventing a run. But the Midgets offense couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the eighth with a strikeout and two grounds.
The Indians continued to hit well in the ninth with a leadoff double by Whitlee Reitz who scored on a single by Maddie Richter. Spirit Lake added two insurance runs, but they weren’t needed.
ELC started the ninth with a single by Jensen and Carson Gjerde drew a walk, but two popups and a groundout ended the contest.
Jensen led ELC as she went 4-5 with a home run, two doubles and six RBIs.
The Indians finished with 14 hits on the night.
Bailee Newman pitched all nine innings as she struck out five batters and walked two.