One Game From State
HUMBOLDT – A stingy defense and heads-up play helped the Emmetsburg Lady E’Hawks earn a 4-0 victory over Eagle Grove in a Class 2A Regional Semi-final tournament matchup Monday night. The win advanced Emmetsburg into the Regional final matchup with St. Edmonds of Fort Dodge at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge on Wednesday evening.
The Lady E’Hawks, who improved to 29-5 with the win, got another strong pitching performance from junior Maddison Woodruff, as she allowed just three hits on the night.
Woodruff started the game out with three strikeouts in the top of the first, and when Emmetsburg came up to bat, Woodruff and Jenny Hoch were quickly retired, but catcher Alex Lock blasted out a double to the center field fence. Kendall Corley drew a walk, but Corley and courtesy runner Alyson Berven were left waiting when the inning ended.
Woodruff would work her magic in the pitching circle in the top of the second, fanning the next three Eagle Grove batters in order. But, Emmetsburg would also go down in order off a pair of fly balls and a putout at first to end the second inning.
Eagle Grove would get a leadoff single in the top of the third, but left their runner at second base after the Lady E’Hawk defense retired the next three batters in order.
Emmetsburg came up in the bottom of the third and led off with a single by Hillary Pico. An error on Maddison Woodruff’s at bat would advance the runners and an error on Jenny Hoch’s at-bat allowed Pico to scamper home for the first run of the contest. A single by Alex Lock brough Woodruff’s courtesy runner, Jaymee Penrod, home to give Emmetsburg a 2-0 lead, but Hoch was thrown out at home on a fielders’ choice of Kendall Corley’s effort for the first out. Nichole Hasbrouck got on base off a fielders’ choice to load the sacks, but the three runners were left looking for a way home when Morgan Vlasman struck out and Frankie Schmidt was put out at first to end the inning.
Trailing 2-0, Eagle Grove got a single in the top of he fourth, but left the runner at second as Emmetsburg’s defense made the stop. The Lady E’Hawks got a runner when Caitlin Wise got on base off an error and made it to second, only to be left waiting herself to end the inning.
The Eagles were retired in order in the top of the fifth and Emmetsburg came up to bat with a mission. Alex Lock led off with a base hit, and Allyson Berven took over on base, coming home off a booming triple by Hasbrouck with one out. Hasbrouck would race home for a run off Morgan Vlasman’s double, but Vlasman would languish on second when Schmidt and Wise were both put out to end the at-bal.
Facing a 4-0 deficit to start the sixth, Eagle Grove led off with a strikeout and got a single, only to have the third batter struck out. As the third strike was called, the runner at first broke for second, but Alex Lock gunned the shot to Hasbrouck at second for the out to end the opportunity.
Emmetsburg couldn’t capitalize on the big defensive play, as they were set down in order in the bottom of the sixth, so the Lady E’Hawks set up to play defense in the top of the seventh .
Woodruff got the first strikeout, but issued a walk. A second strikeout followed, but a second walk was given up to put Eagles on first and second with two outs. On the second pitch to the fifth batter, a balk was called, moving the runners to scoring position, but Woodruff battled back for the strikeout and win.
Woodruff would face 25 batters in seven innings and surrendered just three hits, while issuing two walks and striking out 15 Eagles.
Emmetsburg got six hits in the contest, including a triple from Hasbrouck and double from Vlasman, while Ales Lock had a double and two singles and Hillary Pico added a single.