FT. DODGE– Waukon could not afford to make a mistake against the Lady Spartans.
In the second inning, Waukon made several.
Solon jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning Monday night and never looked back against the only team in the state softball tournament with a losing record.
The Lady Spartans advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament in Ft. Dodge with a 8-2 win. Solon will play again at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 19, in a semifinal against either East Marshall or Estherville-Lincoln Central. The 3A championship game will be Friday, July 20, at 2:30 p.m. on Diamond 1 of the Harlan Rogers Sports Complex north of Ft. Dodge.
After a scoreless first inning, Mel Breza lined off Waukon’s third baseman Brittany Johnson to get on base, advancing to third off a Casey Musgrave bunt. A high throw on a fielder’s choice allowed Breza to score, and aggressive base running put Musgrave and Emma Rickels in position to score when Arran Weeces doubled on the first pitch she saw. A looping double by Emily Bransky brought in Rylee Smith, who had walked, and Solon had a quick four runs on the board.
Meanwhile, Arran Weeces was setting down Waukon’s offense in order.
Weeces struck out seven, and did not allow a Waukon base runner until Daneshia Snitker’s solo home run to right in the fourth inning. Prior to that she had retired the first 10 batters. Emily Ira pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.
The No. 1 Lady Spartans worked the count against two separate Waukon pitchers. Starter Snitker lasted only two innings, replaced by Billy Brink, who promptly gave up a run in the Solon half of the third inning.
Solon’s Kara Misel reached on Waukon’s fourth error and quickly stole second before a double by Emma Rickels brought her home.
Taylor Nearad singled in the fifth and advanced to third on errors before scoring an insurance run on a wild pitch by Brink.
Waukon breathed a little life into its postseason in the top of the sixth when two doubles brought another run across, but Solon responded in a big way.
Ali Herdliska doubled to the fence to start the bottom of the sixth and then Smith smashed the first pitch of her at-bat over the fence for a two-run homer and the 8-2 final score.