SPIRIT LAKE - To have a chance to win the Lakes Conference, every league game becomes important. Defeating a rival is just the icing on the cake.
Estherville Lincoln Central took care of business with a 7-3 victory over Spirit Lake on Friday. The Midgets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never trailed.
"This is a conference game and if we want to stay in the race, we have to win these," said ELC coach Megan Anderson.
Estherville Lincoln Central’s Sarah Schacherer is greeted at home plate after her first career home run, a solo shot over the left field fence against Spirit Lake on Friday.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Macy Dahl opened the game with a double and Carson Gjerde laid down a sacrifice bunt to move to third. Dahl scored when Emily Kirchner reached first on an error by the Indians. She went to second on a passed ball and Liz Brashear drew a walk. A double by Caitlyn Clayton down the right-field line allowed Kirchner to score. Megan Jensen then singled to score courtesy runner Jordan Phillips. ELC left runners at the corners as the next two batters popped up.
Spirit Lake had its first chance to score in the third as Alissa Christoffer and Bailee Newman each hit one-out singles. But Newman tried to reach second on her hit and ELC center fielder Carson Gjerde made the clean throw to covering shortstop Kirchner who made the tag for the second out. After a walk to Paige Krause, Mackenzie Thate grounded out to Kirchner.
ELC added to its lead with a one-out solo home run by Sarah Schacherer in the top of the fourth inning-her first home run of the season.
Spirit Lake came back in the bottom of the inning with two innings. They loaded the bases as Hayley Roberts and Carly Ites both singled and Erin Dau was hit by a pitch. A sacrifice fly to right field by Kayla Herrig allowed Roberts to score and Ites scored on a passed ball before ELC got out of the inning.
ELC got those two runs back in the sixth. Rachel Bates drew a one-out walk and Dahl singled. With two outs, Spirit Lake intentionally walked Kirchner to load the bases. Liz Brashear made the Indians pay with a single that brought two runs in.
ELC scored again in the seventh as Megan Jensen led off with a single. She went to third when Alyssa Friesner grounded out to third base for the second out. A passed ball took her to third base. Bates again drew a walk and Jensen scored when the ball got past catcher Krause on ball four.
In the seventh inning, ELC quickly retired the first two batters. Newman wasn't done as she hit a solo home run to just left of center field and Krause followed up a single. But Thate grounded out to Macy Dahl at second base to end the game.
ELC finished with 11 hits. Dahl was 4-5 while Brashear was 2-3 and Jensen was 2-4. Bates was 1-2 and Clayton and Schacherer each went 1-4.
For Spirit Lake, Newman was 3-4, Christoffer was 2-4, Robert was 1-2 and Krause and Ites each were 1-3.
Brashear earned the win on the mound as she gave up eight hits, struck out three batters, walked one and hit one.
Newman took the loss as she gave up 10 hits and four walks with no strikeouts.
Spirit Lake hosts its tournament today.
The Midgets (7-5, 4-1 Lakes) are scheduled to play Lawton-Bronson at 11:45 a.m., West Bend-Mallard at 3:30 p.m. and Okoboji at 5 p.m.