Step By Step, Game By Game
STORM?LAKE – At this point in the post season, you take games one at a time and never look past the game you’re playing at the time.
Following that mantra seems to be working for Emmetsburg’s Lady E-Hawks, as they advanced another step closer to a return to the State Softball Tournament with a 10-0 victory over Kuemper Catholic of Carroll Monday night in a Class 2A Regional Semi-final matchup at ?Storm Lake.
The win moved Coach Travis Birkey’s ball club into the Regional Championship game Wednesday night against IKM-Manning at Wall Lake, with the winner traveling to Fort Dodge next week for the state tourney.
After a pair of no-hit, six-inning shutout wins for the Lady E-Hawks in their opening tournament games, Monday’s meeting with Kuemper’s Knights was a much-anticipated affair. The two clubs had been scheduled to play a game on Friday, June 25, but Kuemper cancelled the contest due to scheduling conflicts.
Emmetsburg played as the visitors on Monday, and opened the contest with a throwing error by the pitcher on Maddison Woodruff’s at-bat. Courtesy runner Aly Berven would take over on base and work her way around the sacks as Hillary Pico drew a walk and Alex Lock came up with a single to load the bases. Nichole Hasbrouck was walked to score Berven, but a fielders’ choice on Morgan Vlasman’s’ at-bat put Pico out at home. After a putout at first on Kendall Corley, Janna Hoch delivered a booming double to the center field fence that scored Lock’s courtesy runner, Jaymee Penrod, along with Hasbrouck and Vlasman to give Emmetsburg a 4-0 lead when the at-bat ended.
Kuemper would get a leadoff double in their half of the first, but no more to end the inning.
To start the second inning, Kuemper made a pitching change, taking starter Carley Hoffman out of the circle and trading places with second baseman Moriah ?Bohlman. The change
Hillary Pico came up with a base rap in the second, but was left waiting, while Kuemper was retired in order by the Emmetsburg defense and pitcher Maddison Woodruff.
Nichole Hasbrouck led off the third with a single deep ito left field, and was jointed on base by Kendall Corley after her base hit, but the two seniors were left stranded when the at-bat ended. The Knights would go down in order to end the third inning with Emmetsburg still holding a 4-0 advantage to start the fourth frame.
The Lady E-Hawks went down two quick outs in the at-bat, but Hillary Pico got on board off an error, only to languish at third when the at-bat ended.
Carroll Kuemper would also go down two outs in their at-bat, but got a single, but they too would leave their runner waiting for a way to get home when the inning ended.
The status quo broke in the top of the fifth inning, when Nichole Hasbrouck led off with a base hit and was followed by Morgan Vlasman, who duplicated the effort. Kendall Corley then stepped to the plate and pounded out a single to score Hasbrouck before Janna Hoch sent a shot into left field that would bring both Vlasman and Corley home to score their runs.
Hoch would be left at second, when Emmetsburg was retired in order after that point.
Settling in on defense, Emmetsburg made short work of Kuemper, as Woodruff struck out all three batters to end the fifth inning.
With a 7-0 lead to start the sixth inning, Emmetsburg wasted little time in getting something going. Hillary Pico drew a walk to lead off before Alex Lock struck out. Nichole Hasbrouck blasted a double midway up the left-center field fence that scored Pico, and Morgan Vlasman added a single. Hasbrouck would come home and score off a passed ball before Kendall Corley hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Vlasman and Janna Hoch was put out on a line drive to end the at-bat, but Emmetsburg now held a 10-0 advantage.
It was up to the defense to make something big happen in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Lady E-Hawks, and they rose to the occasion.
Woodruff induced a leadoff strikeout before Kuemper got a single. A strikeout would follow for the second out, but a second base hit would end up putting a Kuemper runner on third off an interference call by the base umpire against Emmetsburg, giving Kuemper their first baserunner past second base in the game.
With runners at first and third, Kuemper looked as if they might have a chance to keep the game going, but a perfectly executed put out from Hasbrouck to Vlasman at first would bring the game to an end with the 10-0 victory for Emmetsburg in six innings.
Maddison Woodruff would earn the win, as she faced 22 batters in six innings of work and surrendered just four hits on the night, while striking out 12 Kuemper hitters.
Kuemper’s Carly Hoffman went one inning and faced eight batters, giving, out four earned runs off two hits with a walk. Moriah Bohlman was charged with the loss, giving up six runs, five earned, in five innings of work while facing 26 Emmetsburg batters. Bohlman would managed to strike out three and walk two Emmesburg batters in the loss.
For Emmetsburg, Nichole Hasbrouck had a double and two singles, while Morgan Vlasman and Kendal Corley both added two hits each. Janna Hoch also had a double and single, but earned five RBIs’ with the hits. Hillary Pico and Alex Lock both added singles to the winning effort.