Estherville Lincoln Central couldn't have played much better. ELC pounded out 11 hits-seven in the first inning and cruised past Algona 13-0 in three innings in a first-round Class 3A Region 1 game on Tuesday.
"I was very pleased with how we came out," said ELC coach Megan Anderson. "It took a lot of pressure off."
ELC (18-10 overall) will host Garner-Hayfield Ventura (2-27) at 7 p.m. on Friday. Garner-Hayfield/Ventura defeated Forest City 6-2 on Tuesday.
ELC senior Emily Kirchner (16) slides safely into third base during Tuesday’s Class 3A Region 1 game against Algona. The Midgets advance to the region semifinals with a 13-0, three-inning win over the Bulldogs.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Algona batted first and came up with a couple two-out singles, before ELC retired the side. But the Bulldogs wouldn't have another base runner the rest of the night.
ELC's offense went to work with one out in the bottom of the first inning.
Carson Gjerde hit a bloop single to left field and stole second. Emily Kirchner drew a walk and a single by Liz Brashear scored the first run.
Caitlyn Clayton then doubled to the left-field fence as two more runs crossed the plate.
Megan Jensen followed with an RBI single. Rachel Bates then hit a grounder to third base. But the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag and got past her as the runners advanced to second and third.
With two outs, Kristen King singled to bring home two more runs. Macy Dahl then hit a grounder, which bounced off the shortstop's glove as both runners were safe.
A double by Gjerde scored both runs.
Kirchner laid down a bunt right in front of home plate and beat out the throw to first. Gjerde never stopped at third base and the Algona catcher didn't get back to cover the plate in time as the speedy freshman scored easily. Kirchner went to second on the play and slid into third on a passed ball. Another passed ball allowed her to score standing up for the ninth run of the inning.
Defensively in the top of the second, Brashear needed just three pitches as two grounders to second baseman Dahl and one to Kirchner made quick work of the Bulldogs.
In the bottom of the second, Caitlyn Clayton led off with a solo home run over the left-field fence. Two-outs later, Joslyn Moore came up with a single, stole second and scored on a double to left field by King. Dahl then singled as King scored. But Dahl was tagged out as she tried to go to second on the play.
In the top of the third, Algona batters hit three straight grounders to Kirchner.
For ELC, Clayton and King both went 2-2 with three RBIs; Gjerde was 2-2 with two RBIs; Kirchner was 1-1 with an RBI, Brashear was 1-2 with an RBI; Moore was 1-2 and Dahl was 1-3 with an RBI.
Brashear gave up just two hits with no strikeouts or walks.
"Now we need to get back and focus on the next game," said coach Anderson.