SPIRIT LAKE - For the second time this season, Estherville Lincoln Central had its chances to beat Spirit Lake. But the Indians got the final break with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 6-5 and sweep the regular season series with the Midgets.
The two squads face a possible Class 3A Region second-round matchup if ELC can get past seventh-ranked Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley in the first round.
Tied 5-5 heading into the seventh inning, ELC appeared poised to take the lead when Caitlyn Clayton led off with a long fly ball to left field. But the Indians' Kelsey Delperdang snagged the ball at the fence to prevent the home run.
ELC’s Carson Gjerde slid around Spirit Lake catcher Whitlee Reitz to score this run against the Indians on Monday.
Photo by David Swartz
In the bottom of the inning, the Indians' Bailee Newman hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Morgan White that bounced away from her into shallow center field. With three ELC players surrounding going after the ball, Newman took second base uncontested. With left-handed slap hitter Caitlyn Roberts at the plate, ELC pulled its defense in. Newman attempted to steal third and the throw from catcher Clayton got past both third baseman Sarah Schacherer and left fielder Carson Gjerde into the outfield as Newman scored easily for the win.
ELC had scored three runs in the third after White drew a walk and Rylee Miller singled. With one out, a double by Carson Gjerde scored both runs. Gjerde went to third on a passed ball. Clayton then hit a grounder back to pitcher Newman, but catcher Whitlee Reitz was unable to hang onto it as Gjerde dived around her to score and give ELC a 3-1 lead.
Spirit Lake retook the lead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, all coming with two outs.
ELC tied the game in the sixth as Schacherer reached on an error and Alyssa Friesner singled. White sacrifice the runners to move them to second and third and Miller delivered an RBI single followed by a sacrifice fly to left field by Jensen to tie the game at 5-5.
Newman earned the win on the mound for the Indians as she struck out four batters, walked two and gave up eight hits.
Miller finished 3-3 for ELC while Friesner was 1-3 and Jensen, Gjerde, Clayton and Liz Brashear each went 1-4.
Brashear took the loss for the Midgets. She gave up nine hits and one walk.
Newman finished 4-4 with two doubles while Roberts, Mackenzie Thate, Carly Ites and Reitz each went 1-2 while Delperdang was 1-3.