FORT DODGE — Lynnville-Sully is not doing what it wanted to do today. Today could have been a day of rest for the Hawks, but things changed Tuesday afternoon on Mittera Field at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Park.
Lynnville-Sully is still in Fort Dodge. It has to play twice today instead of resting for a championship semifinal game on Thursday.
Lynnville-Sully came up short in its opening-round game of the 2014 Iowa Class 1A State Softball Tournament Tuesday. Kee of Lansing defeated Lynnville-Sully, 4-0, sending Lynnville-Sully to the consolation bracket for the second straight year.
“It hurts to lose the first game at state. Mentally, we’ll take some time today to get past it,” Lynnville-Sully head coach Stacey Alberts said. “Tomorrow we’re going to come back out and do the best we can, which means finishing fifth. We going to try to get back to our game play and work hard to move through the bracket.”
Lynnville-Sully is back at Rogers Park Wednesday to go after its new goal — fifth place in the state tournament. It finished fifth in the state tournament a year ago.
Lynnville-Sully plays Marquette Catholic (34-7) in the consolation semifinal at noon on Mittera Field. Marquette Catholic lost, 2-0, to AGWSR (28-6) on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Glidden-Ralston lost, 5-0, to defending state champion and undefeated Akron-Westefield. Martensdale-St. Marys scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Wayne, 6-5, in the final opening round game Tuesday night.
Glidden-Ralston (14-12) plays Wayne (27-7) in the other consolation semifinal today.
Winners of the consolation semifinal plays for fifth place at 4 p.m. on Mittera Field. The losers drop to the seventh-place game at 4 p.m. on the INS Field.
“I told the girls it is an extreme honor to be up here (at state). Sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle, the hoopla and the reputation of the program,” Alberts said. “I give the credit to the girls. Every step of the way, we’ve earned every bit of being up here. We’re going to do the best we can the rest of the way.”
In a pitchers dual, Kee’s ace Kendra Cooper, an eighth-grader, had a little better game in the circle than Lynnville-Sully’s junior Madison Rasmusson. Rasmusson limited Kee to six hits, walked one and struck out two. Cooper yielded just five hits and struck out five.
“On this particular day, we couldn’t string our hits together,” Alberts said. “It’s not often we’re held to less than six hits. They held us off the base paths, which prevented us from executing our offense.”
The two teams played three scoreless innings. Each team had a hit with the base runner advancing to third base in the first inning but failed to score.
It was the fourth inning when fortunates turned.
Lynnville-Sully senior catcher Becca Vos singled to left field with two gone in the top of the inning. Haley James went in as courtesy runner for Vos. Jade Van Rees, senior second baseman, sent a hot shot to third base, which was bobbled. Lynnville-Sully, which left five on base in the game, stranded both runners.
With two gone in the bottom of the fourth, Kee’s Valeri Meyer doubled to left center field and Anni Dibert came in as a courtesy runner. Courtney Cooper drew a walk, then Ellie Heiderscheit tripled in two runs. Heiderscheit scored on a throwing error by Lynnville- Sully.
In the fifth inning, again with two gone, Kee added an insurance run. Ellie Cooper singled followed by an RBI double from Kaylee Darling.
“We put the ball in play hard. They made some odd defensive adjustments that really paid off for them. I don’t know many teams that pull the right fielder over to right center field. They took a double away from Becca Vos with that,” Alberts said.
Lynnville-Sully mounted one more challenge in the top of the seventh inning. Van Rees led off with a single to right field. Senior first baseman Shaylin Lukehart delivered a one- out bloop single over the third baseman’s head.
Kristal Beyer, senior left fielder, flied out to shallow center field and Kee turned it into a double play. A throw to second base doubled off Van Rees to end the game.
“On this particular day, we just got beat by a good Kee team. It happens at state. We’re not stranger to it, so we just come back a work hard Wednesday,” Alberts said.
Shelby Davis, junior shortstop, had the first hit of the game, lacing a triple to the left field corner in the first inning for Lynnville Sully. Vos, Van Rees, Lukehart and junior center fielder Lysandra James each had a single.
The loss broke a 30-game winning streak by Lynnville-Sully. It’s other loss was to Class 4A Ballard, 6-2 on May 31. Kee is just two years removed from a 0-25 season.