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Local Sports

Dons sting Hawks with walk-off homer in state opener

FORT DODGE — This one will sting for awhile.

One out away from advancing to the 2013 Iowa Class 1A State Softball Tournament semifinals were Lynnville-Sully High’s Hawks. They withstood a rally by Don Bosco High’s Dons in the fifth.

The Hawks were up by one, 5-4, and one out away.

“We gave them an extra out today,” said Hawk head coach Stacey Alberts, following a heartbreaking first-round loss by her team to Don Bosco.

Protecting that one-run lead, the Hawks retired the first two Don batters in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore pitcher Madison Rasmusson got a pop-up from Morgan Frost, just what the Hawks wanted.

Unfortunately, the Hawks suffered their second error of the game when shortstop Shelby Davis misplayed the ball and it dropped. Frost, who came on in relief of Don Bosco starting pitcher Karli Welter in the fifth, was on base with the tying run.

Welter took a Rasmusson pitch deep for the second time in the contest. The senior delivered a walk-off two-run home run over the left field fence to give the Dons a 6-5 win. Don Bosco advanced to the 1A state semifinal round on Thursday while Lynnville-Sully moved into Wednesday’s consolation bracket play.

“When you’re playing the best in the state, it’s just the way it goes. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t,” Alberts said. “Take away the two two-run home runs, it’s a different ballgame. We make outs when we had opportunities to make outs they don’t have the extra at bats.”

With the loss, the Hawks play in the consolation bracket on Wednesday. They take on Janesville, a 9-7 loser to top-ranked Akron-Westfield Monday, at 10 a.m. on Dodger Diamond at Fort Dodge’s Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex. 

In the other consolation semifinal will be Remsen St. Mary’s against Martensdale-St. Marys on Veterans Diamond at 10 a.m.

Wednesday morning’s winning teams will play for fifth place at 4 p.m. Wednesday on Diamond 1. The losing teams play in the seventh-place game at 2 p.m. on Diamond 2.

There will be no repeat 1A champion in 2013 as second-ranked and defending champion Martensdale-St. Marys dropped a 3-2 decision to New London on Monday. Remsen St. Mary’s lost 14-1 to Newell Fonda.

“I don’t know what to tell my players right now,” an emotional Alberts said right after her post-game talk with the Hawks. “I need a few hours, as well as the girls do, to regroup. We’re going to make the best of the rest of our time here at the state tournament. We expect to win the rest of the way and that’s what we came here for and we’re not going to leave doing anything less.”

The Hawks didn’t change their style of play from what got them to a 36-5 mark going into the state tournament.

Jade Van Rees reached on an error to start the L-S second inning and stole second base. With one gone, Kristal Beyer laid down a bunt, which she beat to the bag on a throwing error by the Dons. Van Rees scored on the play.

Davis, who is one of the Hawks’ leading hitters, smashed a two-out double and ended up on third because of an errant throw. Becca Vos delivered an RBI single to put Lynnville-Sully up 2-0.

“We did what we wanted to do, executed like we wanted to execute,” Alberts said. “ We took bases when we wanted to take bases and put ourselves in another run scoring opportunity in the seventh by being aggressive.”

The Hawks built on their lead with three runs in the fifth. Rasmusson was hit by pitch and Brenna Lanser reached on an error. Lanser scampered to second on the play to give Lynnville-Sully runners at second and third with Davis coming to the plate.

Davis’ fly ball to center field was deep enough to score Rasmusson. Lanser moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a double by Vos.

That’s when the Dons brought in Frost to relieve Welter in the circle. Haley Hood went in as a courtesy runner for Vos and advanced to third on a passed ball. Van Rees hit a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Hood and put Lynnville-Sully up 5-0.

Don Bosco wasn’t going away. A one-out single by Lexy Logan followed by a fielder’s choice by Olivia Schmidt with both runner safe put the Dons in business in the bottom half of the fifth.

Frost ripped a two-run double to the center field gap. Welter hammered out a two-run home run over the left field fence, probably helped by a stiff wind blowing out that direction. That all came with two gone in the innings. The tying run was on but Rasmusson struck out Cate Paulsen to preserve L-S’s one-run lead.

The sixth inning was a 1-2-3 frame for each team.

Rasmusson singled to open the Hawks’ seventh and stole second base. Lanser laid downa  sacrifice bunt to move Rasmusson to thrid base. But Davis struck out and Vos’ fly ball was gathered in for the third out.

Then came Frost and Welter’s heroics for the Dons.

Rasmusson went the distance in the circle for Lynnville-Sully, giving up six hits, walking one and striking out six. The Hawks had two errors in the game while the Dons committed six.

Vos led the Hawk offense with a single and a double. Davis doubled. Rasmusson and Beyer each had a single.

“This is a special team and if anyone has an opportunity to come out and see them play — they’re just wonderful girls. You just want the best for them,” Alberts said.

“Everybody starts the season with one goal in mind (a state championship) and when you’re one out away from taking that next step toward a championship, It’s going to sting for awhile.”

2013 Iowa Girls State Softball Tournament

First Round 

Monday Scores

Class 1A

Akron-Westfield 9, Janesville 7

Don Bosco 6, Lynnville-Sully 5

Newell-Fonda 14, Remsen St. Mary’s 1 (4 innings)

New London 3, Martensdale-St. Marys 2

Class 2A

Treynor 3, Iowa City Regina 1 (11 innings)

AGWSR 8, Jesup 2

Ridge View 3, Fort Dodge St. Edmond 1

Durant 2, Lawton-Bronson 0

Class 3A

Sergeant Bluff-Luton 13, Estherville-LC 4

Bondurant-Farrar 8, Monticello 2

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