After knocking off both LeMars and Estherville Lincoln Central in the past few games, it was crucial for Emmetsburg's Lady E-Hawks to win their final two regular season games on Monday against Spencer and Storm Lake.
The Lady E-Hawks rose to the challenge on Senior Night and avenged an early-season loss to Spencer and then claimed a three-way share of the Lakes Conference title with a 12-0 win over Storm Lake in four innings.
The wins give Emmetsburg its' fourth consecutive Lakes Conference title, and mark of 29-9 overall and 11-3 in league play going into the post season Thursday night.
Hannah VanOosbree is congratulated by Coach Travis Birkey on her two-run home run shot against Spencer on Monday night. --Dan Voigt photo
Playing Spencer in a make-up game at 5:30 Monday afternoon, the Lady E-Hawks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after senior hurler Faith Schmidt struck the Tigers out in order in the top of the first. Emmetsburg led off with a strikeout by Aly Berven, but an error put Kaity Degen on base and a walk sent Schmidt to first before an error on Jacque Carlson's at-bat resulted in a passed ball to score Degen. A second error on Miranda Vlasman's at-bat and passed ball brought courtesy runner Alexa Naig over the plate before the Lady E-Hawks were retired with a 2-0 lead.
Spencer stranded a runner in the second, but Emmetsburg would strand Whitney Kibbie and Degen in their half of the inning. The Tigers would get a runner on base in the top of the third off an error, but left her waiting again.
The Lady E-Hawks would get a single from Michaela Rehm, but left the centerfielder waiting for a way home when the inning ended.
In the fourth, Spencer went down in order and the Lady E-Hawks got a single from Whitney Kibbie, only to leave her waiting when the inning ended.
An error would put a runner on base for Spencer in the top of the fifth, but catcher Miranda Vlasman rifled a shot to shortstop Aly Berven to cut the runner down stealing second that would retire the Tigers.
Emmetsburg would lead off the bottom of the fifth with a base hit from Faith Schmidt. After Jacque Carlson was put out at first, Miranda Vlasman ripped a base hit that allowed courtesy runner Alexa Naig to come home for a run. A fly ball out by Michaela Rehm was followed by a home run blast over the left field fence by designated player Hannah VanOosbree to score her run and Vlasman's to give Emmetsburg a 5-0 advantage when the inning ended.
Spencer would strand a runner in the sixth after a walk, but Emmetsburg would strand a runner after an error in their half of the inning. The Tigers would manage to push a run over the plate in the top of the seventh off a pair of base hits, but no more as Emmetsburg shut the door for the win.
Faith Schmidt got the win, going seven innings and allowing one earned run off two hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
The Lady E-Hawks were led by Hannah VanOosbree's home run, while Faith Schmidt, Miranda Vlasman, Michaela Rehm and Whitney Kibbie all added base hits to the win.
After a brief break to work the diamond, Emmetsburg hosted Storm Lake for the nightcap game and needed just four innings to earn a 12-0 shutout victory.
Storm Lake put a runner on base after being hit by a pitch in the first inning, but couldn't exploit the opportunity. Aly Berven led off with a single and came home to score off a sac bunt by Kaity Degen. A single from Faith Schmidt was followed by an error on Jacque Carlson's at-bat, scoring courtesy runner Alexa Naig. After a fly out from Miranda Vlasman, Michaela Rehm got on base off an error that scored Carlson and Hannah VanOosbree was walked before the inning ended with Emmetsburg holding a 3-0 lead.
Storm Lake was struck out in order in the second and the Lady E-Hawks picked up where they left off. Whitney Kibbie was walked to lead off and her pinch runner, Katie Ruiz, scored off a double by Aly Berven. Kaity Degen followed with a single as Berven scored off a passed ball before the first out was tallied. Jacque Carlson pounded a singled to score Degen before the second out, but scored before a double from Rehm was followed by a walk by VanOosbree. The duo was stranded when the inning ended as the Lady E-Hawks batted through their lineup.
Trailing 7-0, Storm Lake went down in order again in the top of the third and Emmetsburg just kept on hitting. Whitney Kibbie hit a fly ball out, but Berven bunted her way to first before scoring on a passed ball after Degen's double. Degen would score after a passed ball on Schmidt's base hit. After a put out for two outs, Vlasman got on base off an error that allowed Schmidt to score her run. Vlasman would be stranded when Rehm struck out.
In the top of the fourth, Storm Lake faced Ashton Connelly in the circle and the freshman induced a pair of put outs and a strike out to retire the Tornadoes.
In the bottom of the fourth, Emmetsburg led off with a single from Hannan VanOosbree, and a base hit from Teegan Olson. A single from Whitney Kibbie led to a passed ball that brought flex player Kendall Deitering over the plate before Berven rapped out a single to load the sacks. Kaity Degen then stepped up and belted out a double that would score Olson's run that brought the game to a close by the 12-run rule after four innings.
Faith Schmidt earned the win, going three innings and striking out five batters, while Ashton Connelly got the save in one inning with one strikeout.
Emmetsburg was led by the senior duo of Aly Berven and Kaity Degen, who both had a double and two base hits in the win. Fellow senior Faith Schmidt added a pair of base hits, while Michaela Rehm belted a double.
Jacque Carlson, Hannah VanOosbree, Teegan Olson and Whitney Kibbie all added base hits to the winning effort.