It's an old adage, but it's true.
The last out is always the toughest.
Storm Lake found out the hard way. The Tornadoes were within an out of upsetting Waterloo East and advancing to the regional finals.
Instead, an error allowed the tying run to score and send the game into extra innings where Waterloo East took advantage of its new life by scoring two runs in the top of the eighth inning to post a 5-4 victory in a Class 3A regional semifinal game last Friday at Fort Dodge.
"It was a real heart-breaker," Storm Lake coach Jason Stoltzfus said. "The kids played their hearts out. I was proud of how they played. It was a good year."
Storm Lake held a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh with two outs and a runner on third base. However, a throwing error ensued on a ground ball, allowing Sheena Laughlin to score and tie the game.
Storm Lake did not score in the bottom of the seventh. Waterloo East came back with two runs in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Stephanie Schmidt and an RBI single by Dawn Krull.
Storm Lake nearly scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game. Billie Blanchard led off with a single. Heather Storm hit into a fielder's choice and Jenny Woodford and Chelsea Anderson both drew walks to load the bases.
Brooke Overturf then hit into a fielder's choice and Woodford scored on the throw to first base to make it 5-4. However, a flyout to left field ended the threat and the game.
Waterloo East scored two runs in the fourth inning. Storm Lake answered with three runs in the fifth inning. Mel Fisher belted an RBI double to put the Tornadoes ahead 3-2.
Storm Lake had just three hits in the game against winning pitcher Lindsey Deal.
Anna Paulsen took the loss. She allowed seven hits, four earned runs, walked two and struck out eight.