Losing the last game of the season is never fun. But if that loss came at the state tournament, you know your team had a very successful season.
Estherville Lincoln Central's season came to a close with a 2-1 loss to Bondurant-Farrar in the Class 3A third-place game. The Midgets finish fourth for the season, one run higher than the fifth place finish in 2011.
"We had a tremendously successfully year," said ELC coach Megan Anderson, whose team finishes the season with a 28-8 record. "Fourth place is nothing to hang our heads about."
The 2012 Estherville Lincoln Central Softball Team returned home with the Class 3A fourth-place trophy Friday evening. The Midgets made consecutive state appearances for the first time in school history after finishing fifth in 2011. The Midgets other state appearances are 1987, 1993, 1996 and 1998. Team members are, front from left, Ashton Reisner, Kellie Christensen, Sadie Winter, Christina Tendal and Kendall Bosch; back row: Emily Kirchner, Rachel Bates, Caitlyn Clayton, Macy Dahl, Carson Gjerde, Liz Brashear, Taylor Lago, Sarah Schacherer, Megan Jensen and Kristen King.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Similar to the semifinal game against Solon, the Midgets just couldn't get a hit at the right time.
ELC scored its lone run in the bottom of the first inning.
Macy Dahl hit a one-out single, but was out on the force out when Emily Kirchner hit a grounder to the Lady Jays' shortstop. Kirchner stole second base and moments later nearly got caught in a rundown trying to steal third.
Seniors' partying comments
"I love playing with the girls I grew up on the field with," said Kellie Christensen." "We came and did what we wanted, but it could have been better. I have to be happy with it."
"We definitely wanted third," said Tendal. "We worked well together."
Tendal also reminisced playing on the traveling team with Kendall Bosch father, Mike Bosch coaching the team.
For those returning next year Tendal said, "We'll see what they can do in the future."
"I think we did a great job coming to state again," said Saide Winter. "It's a privilege to be here again. I love my team. We finished at a decent spot and did pretty well overall."
"We made it to the last day of state which is as far as you can go," said Bosch. "It's a step up from last year and it was a good week even though it didn't end like we wanted."
Senior Ashton Reisner, who didn't get to play in the tournament, enjoyed her final season in which she pitched 29 innings and posted a 7-0 record on the mound.
"I love this team and all these girls," she said. "It was a team effort to get where we went. I'm proud of everyone."
But as she was heading back to second, the throw to that base was dropped and the speedy junior headed to third on the error.
Kendall Bosch then drew a walk and Christina Tendal came up with an RBI single up the middle to score the run.
Taylor Lago then reached base on an error by the third baseman. Rachel Bates, who was running for Bosch, tried to score on the play, but was tagged out at home plate for the third out.
The Lady Jays took advantage of an ELC error to answer in the top of the second inning. Emily Wilson hit a fly ball down the left field line. Sadie Winter got under it, but the ball popped out allowing Wilson to go to second. Keely Bycroft then singled through the right side of the field to score the run.
ELC's next chance to score came in the bottom of the second when Kellie Christensen doubled to left field with two outs. She went to third on a passed ball, but was stranded as Kristen King popped up to first base.
In the third inning, Kirchner reached on a one-out error, but was thrown out trying to steal second.
In the fourth inning, Winter hit a two-out single, but Caitlyn Clayton grounded out to third base.
ELC's best chance to score came in the fifth inning as Christensen hit a leadoff double to right-center field. The sacrifice bunt by King was executed perfectly to advance Christensen to third.
But Dahl flew out to second base and Kirchner grounded out to short as Christensen was stranded again.
Bondurant-Farrar scored the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth as Ashley Burrows led off with a single, went to second on the sacrifice by Bobbie Jo Burrows and to third on a wild pitch. ELC appeared ready to get out of the inning when Cailey Schlenker struck out for the second out. But Mariah Laven hit a grounder to Dahl at second base that took a poor hop. Laven reached on the error as Ashley Burrows scored.
The Lady Jays went on to load the bases with Wilson getting hit by pitch and Bycroft hitting an infield single. But the inning ended with Bycroft grounding out to Clayton at third base.
ELC's last base runner was Kendall Bosch as she led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. However Tendal hit a grounder to second baseman Michelle Sullivan, who tagged courtesy runner Bates and threw to first for a double play.
The Lady Jays retired the next four ELC batters with shortstop Bobbie Jo Burrows snagging a line drive by Clayton for the second out in the seventh inning.
ELC finished with six hits compared to just four by Bondurant-Farrar. Lady Jays pitcher Cailey Schlenker didn't strike out a single batter and gave up one walk.
Christensen was 2-3 while Bosch was 1-2 and Dahl, Tendal and Winter each went 1-3.
Bosch struck out five batters and gave up four hits. She also caught two come-backers off the bat of Laven-the first time in the second inning and again in the fourth inning.
Bondurant-Farrar 010 001 0 2 4 3
Estherville Lincoln Central100 000 0 1 6 2
WP Cailey Schlenker. LP Kendall Bosch.