Emmetsburg's Lady E-Hawks earned an 8-1 victory over Cherokee's Braves Monday night to improve to 5-5 in the Lakes Conference in the final week of the regular season. Overall, Emmetsburg is 14-10 with three conference games remaining before the post season starts next week.
In Monday's contest, Cherokee would go down on three straight strikeouts at the hands of Emmetsburg hurler Ashton Connelly. In the bottom of the first, Alexa Naig would lead off for the Lady E-Hawks with a big double before scoring off a pair of wild pitches to put Emmetsburg up 1-0 at the end of one inning.
Cherokee found their bats in the top of the second, getting a single after a leadoff walk, but a fielders' choice put the lead runner out at third before a sacrifice fly would score the tying run.
OU?GOT?IT?BAILEE! - Emmetsburg catcher Bailee Garrelts sets up under a foul popup as third baseman Tegan Olson, at right, covers the play during Monday’s game with Cherokee. Emmetsburg claimed an 8-1 win over the Braves in the contest.
-- Dan Voigt photo
In the bottom of the inning, Emmetsburg put some distance between themselves and the Braves.
Going down two quick outs, Kate Jackson started the scoring with a walk and was followed on base by Hali Noll on an first baseman's error. Ashley Overberg would pound a double deep to the fence in right center field to score her two teammates before Alexa Naig smacked a single to bring Overberg home in a close play at the plate.
An error by the second baseman put Sarah Simington on base and allowed Naig to come home on an errant throw and advanced Simington to third base. Tegan Olson would draw a walk, but was thrown out stealing second to end the inning with Emmetsburg holding a 5-1 advantage.
Cherokee would go down in order in the top of the third and in the bottom of the frame, Emmetsburg got a leadoff single from Michaela Rehm. Rehm moved to second on a put out of Ashton Connelly, and then came home off an error on Bailee Garrelts at-bat. A walk of Kate Jackson followed, but a double play on Hali Noll's at-bat would end the inning.
Now trailing 6-1 to start the fourth inning, Cherokee was still unable to get its offense going, as they were stopped in order once again.
Emmetsburg would get a leadoff single from Ashley Overberg in the bottom of the fourth and the right fielder would score her run off a sacrifice bunt from Sarah Simington for the second out. Tegan Olson would come up and hit a single before an error at first base put Michaela Rehm on base.
An RBI?single from Ashton Connelly to left field allowed Olson to plate her run, but Rehm was thrown out at the plate as she tried to score to end the inning.
Cherokee would be retired in order in the top of the fifth inning as Emmetsburg's defense was playing well, The Lady E-Hawks would see their offense cool in the bottom of the fifth, as two strikeouts were followed by a single from Hali Noll, who would be left waiting when a called third strike on Ashley Overberg ended the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Emmetsburg's defense stopped Cherokee cold in three straight outs, but for the first time in the game, Emmetsburg would be retired in order in their at-bat to set up the seventh inning.
Cherokee would go down with a strikeout to start the seventh, and pitcher Ashton Connelly would then end the game on two straight put outs on hits back to the pitcher, which she quickly relayed to first baseman Jenna Chapman for the final game winning outs.
Ashton Connelly would earn the win in the circle, going seven innings and giving up the one earned run off one hit, with one walk and eight strikeouts in the contest.
For Emmetsburg, Ashley Overberg and Alexa Naig both had doubles and singles, while Overberg had two RBI's and Naig added one RBI. Michaela Rehm Hali Noll and Ashton Connelly all had base hits, while Sarah Simington and Bailee Garrelts both had sacrifice RBI's in the winning effort.
After wrapping up the regular season tonight (Thursday) with a double-header with Storm Lake, Emmetsburg will open post-season tournament play in Class 2A on Tuesday, July 8 at home.
Emmetsburg will host Pocahontas Area in a Class 2A Region Two first-round matchup at 7 p.m. The winner of that contest will travel to Alta on Wednesday, July 9 to take on Alta-Aurelia at 7 p.m. in a Regional quarter-final tournament game. The Regional semi final is set for Friday, July 11, in Alta with the Regional Final to be played don July 14 in Pocahontas.