FORT DODGE - One hit at the right time could've made for a different ball game.
Fifth-ranked Estherville Lincoln Central had its chances against top-ranked Solon in Thursday's Class 3A Semifinal.
But the big hit never came.
ELC catcher Taylor Lago tags out Solon’s Alyssa Rickels thanks to a good throw from left fielder Sadie Winter during the first inning of Thursday’s Class 3A Semifinal game in Fort Dodge. ELC plays in the third-place game against Bondurant-Farrar at 1:30 p.m.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Meanwhile the Spartans scored the game's lone run in the top of the first inning and held on for the 1-0 victory.
The Midgets had three hits in the game, two by senior Sadie Winter.
"She's a good pitcher," ELC coach Megan Anderson said of Solon's Arran Weeces. "But when we had runners on, we needed someone to step up and get a base hit."
ELC will play in the third-place game against Bondurant-Farrar at 1:30 p.m. Bondurant-Farrar defeated the Midgets 5-3 last year in the first round at state.
The Lady Jays lost 1-0 to Ballard on Friday with the Bombers scoring on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Solon, whose first three batters all bat from the left side of the plate, started the bottom half of the first inning with a leadoff double by Emily Bransky as she hit the ball over Winter's head in left field. A passed ball allowed Bransky to head to third base. Teammate Alyssa Ricklefs followed with a single to left to score the run.
The next batter gave ELC a scare when she hit a hard liner at Kendall Bosch on the mound with the ball hitting her pitching hand. Meanwhile second baseman Macy Dahl grabbed the ball and still got the out at first base.
Bosch eventually shook off the injury but cleanup batter Kara Misel then singled to left. Ricklefs tried to score from second base, but Winter threw a strike to covering catcher Taylor Lago, who made the tag for the second out.
Bosch showed no ill effects as she recorded her first strikeout against Mel Breza.
Solon never got a runner past second base after the first inning.
However, the Midgets couldn't answer.
ELC had its chances though.
The first chance came in the third inning when Winter drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. A sacrifice bunt by Kellie Christensen moved her to third.
But with two outs, Kristen King couldn't come up with the hit as she struck out swinging.
In the fourth inning, Macy Dahl led off with a single and Kendall Bosch drew a one-out walk. Christina Tendal hit the sacrifice bunt to get the runners in scoring position. This time Taylor Lago was at the plate and popped up to left field.
In the fifth inning, Winter led off with a single. Caitlyn Clayton down the sacrifice bunt and Solon's defense elected to try to get Winter at second. But the throw was off the mark.
Christensen then laid down the sacrifice bunt to move the runners.
This time King popped up to the third baseman and Dahl grounded out to third to end the threat.
Winter was ELC's only other base runner in the game as she hit a one-out single in the top of the seventh. But Clayton struck out and Christensen hit a short pop up to center that Bransky ran in to catch to end the game.
Defensive highlights for ELC include Tendal catching a low liner at fist base to start the second inning.
Second baseman Dahl made a stop deep in the hole toward second base and threw from her knees to first for an out.
Bosch finished the game with five strikeouts and gave up one walk.
Winter was 2-2 at the plate while Dahl was 1-3.