The Storm Lake St. Mary's softball team will go into tonight's tourney opener with Alta riding some hard-earned momentum.
The Panthers routed Sac City Monday night 12-2 to claim sole possession of third place in the Northwest Conference with a 7-5 league mark.
Wednesday night on their home field, St. Mary's rallied from a 7-1 sixth-inning deficit to record an 8-7 win over Remsen-St. Mary's in their regular season finale.
They'll enter tonight's Class 1A District opener on Alta's home field with an 11-10 mark.
"We really didn't start playing well until the sixth inning, so I was happy to come away with a win," St. Mary's softball coach Courtney Berg said. "That's especially true in our last home game for our seniors."
Berg added that her team made seven errors, noting, "this was one of those games where you take the W even though we made (the) errors."
Berg said her team trailed 7-1 going into the sixth inning, but scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth and four in the seventh to force extra innings.
Remsen-St. Mary's failed to score in the top of the eighth. In the bottom half of that frame, senior Colleen Smith laced a shot to the gap in rightcenter for a two-out triple.
Panther junior Abby Richardson's hard-hit grounder was bobbled by the R-SM shortstop and she reached first safely as Smith crossed home for the gamewinner.
Panther righthander Ashley Langner picked up the mound win, allowing seven runs, just one of which was earned. She yielded seven hits and walked six without a strikeout.
Berg said late this week that her team has been hitting the ball well the last few games, and that continued Wednesday night, as they rang up 11 hits.
Ashley Schultz went 3 for 4 with two singles, a double and a pair of RBI. Richardson hit three singles in four at-bats and drove in a run. Becky Lenhart added two hits, including a triple, while adding one hit each were Smith, Megan Snyder and Jessica Lussman. Robyn Bredvick added an RBI for the Panthers.
Sioux Central 5,
Twin River Valley 3
The Northwest Conference co-champion Rebels continued their momentum in Peterson Wednesday night with this non-conference win.
After shutting out Newell-Fonda last Monday, senior righthander Chelsea Winterboer tossed a three-hitter, walking three and striking out 11.
Sioux Central took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a leadoff single by Trish Hogrefe and an RBI-single by Brianna Ehlers.
Twin River Valley nicked Winterboer for a run in the fourth and added a run in the top of the fifth for a 2-1 lead.
The Rebels rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run triple by Winterboer and an RBI single by Beth Ehlers.
TRV added a single run in the top of the sixth to trail 4-2, but Sioux Central added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
Leading 5-2, Winterboer retired Twin River Valley in order in the top of the seventh, striking out two of the hitters she faced.
Winterboer finished with 4 RBI, while Briana Scharn went 1 for 4 with an RBI.