SPENCER - After defeating three ranked teams at the Spencer Tournament last Friday and Saturday, Estherville Lincoln Central returned to the scene of their triumphs on Monday to face the Tigers in a Lakes Conference matchup.
In a scoreless game through 3 1/2 innings, Spencer broke open the scoring with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Midgets responded with a seven-run outburst in the top of the fifth inning and cruised to an 11-1 victory.
Entering the game, ELC had a total of six home runs on the season.
That changed when senior Sadie Winter blasted at two-run shot over the left field fence to give ELC a 2-1 lead.
Freshman Caitlyn Clayton immediately followed with a solo home run of her own as ELC led 3-0.
The Midgets kept the pressure on.
Leadoff batter Kristen King then hit a one-out double. Macy Dahl drew a walk in which ball four got past the Spencer catcher. That allowed King to go to third base.
Meanwhile Dahl didn't stop at first base and the Tigers threw to second base to try to get her out. King burst for home to score on the play.
Emily Kirchner drew a walk and Kendall Bosch had an RBI single.
On the next play, Christina Tendal hit a grounder and reached on the fielder's choice as the Tigers elected to chase Kirchner back to third base.
Lago, who had started the inning with a single, then delivered a two-RBI double to give the Midgets a 7-1 lead.
ELC added four insurance runs in the seventh inning. Lago led off with a single. Winter then hit a grounder to the shortstop, who tried to get Lago out at second. The ball got through into right field as Lago scored on the play.
Clayton then stepped to the plate and hit her second home run of the night to put ELC up 10-0.
ELC went to work with two outs as Dahl drew a walk and scored after consecutive singles by Kirchner and Bosch.
Spencer's only run came in the fourth inning after a leadoff double was followed by ELC's first error of the night.
Bosch earned the win as she struck out 12 Tigers, hit one and gave up four hits.
ELC finished with 13 hits. Lago was 3-4 with two RBIs. Bosch was 3-5 with two RBIs. Clayton was 2-3 with three RBIs. Kirchner was 2-4 while Winter was 1-4 with two RBIs, Dahl was 1-3 and King was 1-5.
ELC (23-4 overall, 10-1 in the Lakes Conference) is at Spirit Lake on Wednesday.