Storm Lake 2, Estherville 1
STORM LAKE - "I'd rather be lucky than good," was how Tornado coach Jason Stoltzfus reflected on his team's 10-inning sqeaker over Estherville Lincoln Central Monday night, 2-1.
The girls in green and white were some of both.
A big break came their way in the bottom of the tenth. With Nicole Martin on third with two out, senior Michaela Brungardt hit a sharp ball right to the ELC second baseman for what appeared to be a routine inning-ending play. The fielder bobbled slightly, rushed her throw, and Brungardt beat it out as Martin scored the winning run.
Brungardt also drove in the other SLHS run, with a triple in the fourth to score Amanda Proczak.
Maleia Miller and Katie Blum each contributed two hits.
Blum pitched all ten innings, scattering nine hits. Three times in the later innings, ELC threatened with runners in scoring position, only to have Storm Lake's defense come through with a shutdown play.
"It's not the way you want to win," Stoltzfus said of the decisive play, "but we'll take it. We've been on the other end of the stick and we know how tough it can be."
Estherville played a great game, the SLHS coach added, but the Tornadoes made every play they had to make.
Wednesday night, Storm Lake beat LeMars 4-3 to move to 9-3 overall, 4-1 in the Lakes. Details will appear in Saturday's issue.
* The JV game between Storm Lake and Estherville L.C. ended in a 2-2 tie as darkness settled in on the field that still does not have working lights.
SLHS's scoring came early, with Jordan Bauer leading off the first inning with a single, followed by a Megan Thompson walk. They both scored on hits by Katelyn Goodchild and Cassie Meylor.
Storm Lake St. Mary's 9
Rockwell City-Lytton 2
LYTTON - St. Mary's continued a dramatic turnaround Monday, rocking Rockwell City-Lytton with an early-innings offensive punch to pick up their third straight win, after starting the season on a five-game losing streak.
St. Mary's bats came alive with four-run bursts in the second and third innings. Neither team scored further until RCL got their two runs in the sixth, and SM added a final tally in the seventh to make it 9-2.
Olivia Jensen was masterful in the circle, going all seven innings with only one hit, two walks and no earned runs given up, while she struck out 10.
The Panther defense continued to show marked improvement, although their two errors came back-to-back in the sixth, allowing RCL to get on the scoreboard.
Robyn Bredvick continued to rip opposing pitching, slapping a pair of doubles for three RBIs as Jen Dimig was two-for-four plus a walk. Jensen had two hits and reached on a walk and an error. Christine Becker and Caitlyn White also had two hits each.
In late action last night, St. Mary's was humbled 8-0 by Newell-Fonda. Alta comes to Memorial Park on Friday.
Sioux Central 5, Harris-Lake Park 2
LAKE PARK - Hard-throwing Brooke Scharn picked up her sixth win of the season Monday night, striking out nine of the 11 batters she faced and giving up no hits or walks as the Rebels handled Harris Lake-Park 6-2.
Jess Stoner also pitched three innings for SC, with three hits and five walks.
Erin Safely clubbed a home run for three RBIs as the team collected six hits.
Newell-Fonda 5, Alta 2
FONDA - A sixth-inning barrage moved the Mustangs to 10-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Northwest Conference, as they topped Alta 5-2.
It was a game of spurts. Lauren Devereaux not only pitched her way to her seventh win of the season, giving up only one hit and striking out 11, she blasted a two-run homer in the second to give herself some breathing room.
Alta came back in the fourth, as a passed ball and the only NF error of the game helped them tie it 2-2.
With two out in the bottom of the sixth, NF strung together an Ellen Gruntorad single, Kelly Johnson RBI double, Devereaux walk and Alisa Christensen two-RBI double belted to the fence.
Jessy Bibler went the distance in taking the loss for Alta, walking two and striking out six.
Both teams played sparkling defense, with only the one error between them.
Manson 4, Newell-Fonda 3
FONDA - You won't find Newell softball mentor Dick Jungers enthusiastic about a loss very often. But when his Mustangs locked up in a thriller that they lost to Manson 4-3 Tuesday night, he was smiling.
"This was a great high school softball game. Both teams battled hard and we just wound up on the short end of the scoreboard."
Each team managed a run each in the first and third, followed by four scoreless innings. Manson plated two runs in the eighth, helped by two passed balls. NF had two hits for a run before their rally was snuffed out.
Each team had eight hits, only five walks between them, and NF has two errors to Manson's one.
Becky Seivert pitched all eight innings for NF, striking out eight and giving up two earned runs.
For the Mustangs, Ellen Gruntorad was two-for-three with an RBI plus a walk. Lauren Deveraux and Alisa Christensen each doubled.
Susan Keis had one hit and scored twice.
Newell-Fonda is 11-2 on the season after going on to defeat St. Mary's in Storm Lake last night.
The Lady Pirates blasted out a dozen hits by seven different batters in one of their best performances of the year to sink Westwood 9-3 Monday night in Galva.
Galva-Holstein improved to 3-5 for the season, 1-1 in the conference.
Lindsey Joslin led the way for GH at the plate, going three-for-four with a double and two RBIs. Michaela Else had two hits including a double and batted in four runs. Heather Joslin was two-for-four with a double and an RBI.
Jaime Christensen went seven innings for the win, scattering eight hits, walking two and striking out four. All of Westwood's runs were unearned.
Coach Scott Phelps said he was especially happy with the defensive effort of his Lady Pirates. "Hopefully we can build on this as we try to continue to improve," he said.
Schaller-Crestland seized control early, with two runs in the first inning and three more in the second, while handing Aurelia only three hits.
Heather Ballantyne had a two-run triple in the fifth for Aurelia, as Erin Laursen and Courtney Bruce each added a hit. Laursen pitched for Aurelia, giving up six hits. SC stats were not available at presstime