ALGONA - One night after getting shut out by LeMars, Estherville Lincoln Central started slowly against Bishop Garrigan in a non-conference matchup Thursday.
But a few Golden Bear errors and Midget walks opened the door for ELC.
ELC starting pitcher Liz Brashear, who uncharacteristically walked four batters in the second inning, settled down after hitting a bases-clearing double in the top of the third inning. That gave the Midgets the lead for good as they went on to win 9-3.
"Liz showed character after getting through that situation and pitched a very good game," said ELC coach Megan Anderson. "She just had to settle down."
After scoring a run in the first and two in the second, the bottom of the Midget order stepped up to start the top of the third inning.
Sarah Schacherer drew a leadoff walk and Rachel Bates reached base when the first baseman dropped the throw from the shortstop. Kristen King then hit a ball to the shortstop and the Bears' second error allowed Schacherer to score as Bates went to third. Kristen King then stole second to put runners at second and third again. Macy Dahl drew a walk to load the bases.
Carson Gjerde then hit a fly ball to right field. Bates tagged and scored on the sacrifice and both the runners also moved. A walk to Emily Kirchner loaded the bases again.
Bishop Garrigan then replaced starter Betty Straub with Kristin Condoleon.
That's when Brashear helped her cause as she took the 1-1 pitch to the left-centerfield gap for a bases-clearing double. That gave ELC a 5-3 lead.
Condoleon got the second out of the inning when Caitlyn Clayton went down on strikes, but ELC wasn't done. Megan Jensen hit a triple to right field to bring courtesy runner Jordan Phillips home at put ELC up 6-3.
ELC kept up the pressure in the fourth inning. Bates led off with a single and went to second on the sacrifice bunt by King. Dahl followed with a single that put runners at the corners. She stole second. After Gjerde went down on strikes for the second out, Garrigan committed an error on a grounder to the shortstop by Kirchner. Two runs scored on that as two runs scored. Brashear then reached base on an error. A wild pitch allowed Kirchner to score.
Meanwhile ELC's defense also stepped up as the Golden Bears only had one base runner reach third base the rest of the night.
After a one-out single in the fourth inning, ELC shortstop Kirchner picked up a hard grounder by Garrigan's Nicole Zeimet and began the 6-4-3 double play with Dahl making the turn at second base to Jensen at first.
While ELC had just five hits, the Golden Bears finished the night with five errors.
Jensen finished 2-3 with a triple, a double and two RBIs. Brashear was 1-3 with three RBIs and Dahl and Bates both were 1-3.
Brashear finished with five strikeouts and four walks while allowing just six hits-the final three scattered over the final four innings.
ELC (9-6, 5-2 Lakes) is on the road for the third straight night as the Midgets travel to Milford to face Okoboji this evening.
The ELC Junior Varsity improved to 5-3-1 on the season with an 8-3 victory over Bishop Garrigan. Carson Gjerde pitched six innings and gave up three earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and six walks.
At the plate, Megan Jensen was 2-3 with three runs and an RBI; Alyssa Friesner was 1-4 with two RBIs and Gjerde and Hallie Jensen each were 1-2 with an RBI.