Tornadoes best Tigers, bow to Monarchs to end season
STORM LAKE/DENISON - The post season got off to a rousing success on Thursday night, the Storm Lake softball ladies played host in the first round of 4A-Region 1 play against their rival, the Spencer Tigers. Storm Lake bested Spencer twice this season and they picked up the hat trick with a 6-2 victory to advance in regional play.
The green and white saw Spencer build a little bit of a threat in the top of the first, but was able to get out of the half inning with no damage done. The bottom of that first had Storm Lake build up an early 3-0 lead on only one hit, three Tiger errors along with a lead off walk pace the green and white.
Storm Lake added another run in the bottom of the second and held that 4-0 advantage until the top of the fifth. Spencer got a run on the board to make it a 4-1 contest, but Storm Lake answered in the home half with two runs to extend their lead to five. The Tigers got a run in the sixth to pull within four. Tornado sophomore pitcher Skylar Cole retired the side on strike outs in the top of the seventh to bring the game to a close.
“Great energy out of the game scoring three quick runs by taking advantage of a few Spencer miscues. We kept our energy throughout the game and recovered well when we had a few errors in later innings. Skylar had a nice night in the circle keeping hitters off balance by changing speeds and eye levels of the hitters,” Coach Mel Fisher said.
Cole picked up her 13th win on the year after the seven inning contest. She allowed five hits, a walk, one earned run and fanned 15 Spencer batters.
Cole also got on base on all four at-bats on offense. She had two hits, one of them a double, two walks and stole three bases. Junior Rachel Bozonie was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBIs, freshman Holly Dierenfield adding a couple of singles and an RBI. Freshman Ellie Scully also had a hit with an RBI.
Storm Lake then went against Denison-Schleswig in a regional semi-final and never got on track in a 10-0 defeat against the Monarchs, the game ending in five innings.
The green and white went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first on eight pitches, D-S scoring a pair of runs after a lead off double by Alex Mohr. Storm Lake again struggled at the plate in the second, another 1-2-3 frame as the error bug bit them on defense. A handful of second inning errors allowed the Monarchs to score four runs to take a 6-0 lead.
Storm Lake got their first base runner in the third as eighth grader Amyah Boyd drew a walk and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. However, nothing came out of the scoring threat. The Tornadoes committed another defensive error but got out of the inning unscathed with the score remaining 6-0.
Freshman Holly Dierenfield singled to lead off the fourth for the green and white, but three straight outs left her on first. D-S got another run in the bottom of the fourth to push their advantage to seven. Storm Lake went 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth as errors plagued the green and white in the bottom of the fifth, D-S scoring three to end the game.
Cole allowed 10 hits, a walk and only three earned runs in the contest while she fanned four.
“Such a disappointing way to end a good season. We played our worst game of the year in our biggest game of the year. We were not mentally tough enough to overcome our early miscues, instead we let them compound into more mistakes. Having 12 errors in a five inning game will never get the job done,” Fisher said. “The outcome of this game doesn’t do these girls or their season justice. To think that three years ago we didn’t win a game. This group of kids deserves all the credit for turning the program around. We had so many close games this year that we should have come out on top of. We will certainly miss Danielle, Briana and Ellie next year but the future is bright for these girls.”
Storm Lake picked up their most wins in a season since 2010 with 13 as they finish with a 13-15 record. The Tornadoes bid farewell to seniors Briana Soto and Danielle Reyes along with freshman Ellie Scully who is moving to California.