State-ranked Storm Lake storms through Spencer Tourney, hands E-LC its first Lakes loss
Winning will get you noticed.
The Storm Lake softball team has been doing plenty of that lately. The Tornadoes swept their competition at the Spencer Tourney Friday and Saturday, after breaking into the 3A state rankings for the first time all year, at No. 11.
The Tornadoes (19-4, 8-2 Lakes) beat 2A top-ranked and two-time defending state champ Akron-Westfield 2-0, then edged Denison-Schleswig 5-2 Friday.
On Saturday, Storm Lake snuck past George Little Rock 2-1 before finishing with a 7-2 victory over Sioux City Heelan.
Then, in Lakes Conference action that wrapped up just before deadline Monday, the Tornadoes blanked Estherville-Lincoln Central 4-0. In doing so, they avenged an early season loss to the Midgets, who were previously undefeated in the league. It was SL's 13th straight win since an 8-7 setback to Fort Dodge June 12.
On Saturday, Center fielder Michaela Brungardt and catcher Slone Masters made the all-tournament team for Storm Lake, which, despite going undefeated, finished second to Estherville-Lincoln Central under tourney scoring rules awarding first place to the team with more runs in instances where a tiebreaker is needed.
"Morgan Darrow pitched the game of her life, shutting out (A-W on Friday)," said Tornadoes coach Jason Stoltzfus. "Combined with some great defense by Nicole Martin, Amber Woodford and Amanda Proczak we got out of a tough situation in the fifth when A-W had the bases loaded and only one out."
Proczak scored in the fourth after singling. Lindsay Guenther slapped a ball to the hot corner and the A-W third baseman made an errant throw to right field, which plated Proczak.
In the fifth Maleia Miller singled and scored on a Masters single.
"We took advantage of our opportunities and came up big," said Stoltzfus.
Darrow allowed three hits and fanned nine en route to the shutout.
In the D-S contest, freshman Katie Blum collected a win, allowing two runs on two hits and five punch outs. Masters was 2-for-4 with an RBI; Brungardt went 2-for-3.
"Another solid performance out of the team," said Stoltzfus.
SL out-hit the Monarchs 9-2.
Blum had another big game against George Little Rock Saturday, relieving Darrow in the third and finishing with seven strikeouts.
"Katie Blum stepped up big. No (G-LR batters) came close to her," said Stoltzfus. "Offensively we put the ball in play and had lots of runners, we just couldn't get them across the plate."
Both teams had six hits.
Guenther, a left fielder, made a stellar catch along the fence in foul territory to end the game.
Sioux City Heelan and Storm Lake were both 3-0 in the tourney before SL knocked off the Sioux City school, playing error-free and out-hitting it 12-4 along the way.
"We played some solid softball after giving them an early lead. They may not have scored if they were on a regulation field," said Stoltzfus.
Brungardt and Mylea Zimmerman reached in the second inning and both scored on a hard hit by Martin.
The fifth frame was also productive, as Masters singled and scored on a Darrow single, and Darrow went on to score on a Proczak single.
The Twisters added insurance coverage in the seventh when Woodford, Proczak and Darrow all reached base. Guenther, Zimmerman and Brungardt all notched RBIs in that frame.
STORM LAKE SEASON STAT LEADERS
Through 22 games
Batting Average-Slone Masters .469, Amanda Proczak .419, Morgan Darrow .408, Michaela Brungardt .400, Amber Woodford .319
HIts-Masters 38, Proczak 31, Darrow 29, Brungardt 28, Woodford 23
RBIs-Proczak 26, Lindsay Guenther 19, Brungardt 17, Woodford 16, Masters 15
Runs-Masters 23, Brungardt 18, Darrow 17, Woodford 17, Proczak 16
Stolen Bases-Darrow 5, Woodford 5, Masters 4, Brungardt 4, Proczak 3
HRs-Woodford 2, Proczak 1, Brungardt 1
ERA-Darrow 1.25, Blum 2.05
Strikeouts-Darrow 115, Blum 29
Wins-Darrow 14, Blum 3
Innings pitched-Darrow 112, Blum 41