Emmetsburg's Lady E-Hawk softball team closed out the first week of the 2014 season with a pair of wins for a 3-0 mark. After a win over Forest City on Tuesday, Emmetsburg defeated West Hancock Wednesday by a 12-2 score and then downed North Union Thursday night by an 8-5 tally.
In Wednesday's home opener against West Hancock, Emmetsburg would get on the scoreboard first, after retiring West Hancock in order to start the game. The Lady E-Hawks plated a run in the bottom of the first from Alexa Naig atter she got on base off a bunt single and then came home off a sacrifice grounder by Tegan Olson.
The guest Eagles of West Hancock would go down in order in the second inning, and the Lady E-Hawks came up to bat. A quick out was followed by Kate Jackson getting on base off an error before Bailee Garrelts drew a walk. Sarah Simington would strike out for the second out, but Hali Noll would draw a walk to load the bases before Alexa Naig was walked to score Jackson's run. Garrelts would then come home on a passed ball before Jenna Chapman would step up to the plate and pounded a standing triple that scored Malissa Niemann and Alexa Naig.
FLIP?TO?FIRST - Emmetsburg first baseman Jenna Chapman, right, waits for the throw from second baseman Sara Simington for an out during play against West Hancock Wednesday evening. Emmetsburg claimed a 12-2 win in the game, and then defeated North Union the following evening in an 8-5 decision. -- Dan Voigt photo
An error would put Tegan Olson on base and allow Chapman to score her run as Emmetsburg increased their lead to 6-0. Michaela Rehm would step up and pounded out a single before Ashton Connelly was walked. ,Starting through the order a second time, a passed ball during Kate?Jackson at-bat allowed Olson to score her run for a 7-0 advantage. But, with Rehm waiting at second and Connelly waiting in scoring positions at third and second, Jackson was put out at first to end the second inning.
West Hancock would go down in order for the third straight inning, but in the bottom of the third, Emmetsburg went down two quick outs before Designated Player Hali Noll laced a single just over short into left field.
Alexa Naig would draw a walk, but Emmetsburg would leave the two runners waiting in scoring position when Jenna Chapman hit a high, arcing fly ball to left field to end the inning.
The top of the fourth inning was no kinder to the Eagles than the first three innings had been and Emmetsburg would lead off their half of the frame with a booming double from Tegan Olson. After outs by Michaela Rehm and Ashton Connelly, Olson would score off a single by Kate Jackson, who was followed on base by Bailee Garrelts who was walked. Courtesy Runner Natalie Kliegl and Jackson would be left waiting, however, when Sarah Simington popped out to short to end the inning.
West Hancock would end their offensive drought in the top of the fifth inning. After a quick out, four straight base hits allowed two runs to score before Ashton Connelly struck out the final two batters to end the at-bat.
The Lady E-Hawks would start with Hali Noll getting on base off an error before Alexa Naig was walked. But once again, Emmetsburg would leave Naig and Niemann waiting when they went down in order to end the fifth fram.
Emmetsburg's defense clamped down in the top of the sixth, retiring West Hancock in order. In the bottom of the inning, Ashton Connelly led off with a base hit and was followed by a single from Kate Jackson. A sacrifice fly by Bailee Garrelts scored Connelly, and an error on Sarah Simington's at-bat allowed Jackson to plate her run.
An error on Hali Noll's at-bat allowed Simington to plate her run for an 11-2 lead, but Alexa Naig rapped out a single that scored Noll's run to end the game on the 10-run rule.
Ashton Connelly took the win, allowing two runs, both earned, off four hits, with six strikeouts. Emmetsburg got a triple from Jenna Chapman along with a double from Tegan Olson. Kate Jackson had two hits, while Alexa Naig, Michaela Rehm, Ashton Connelly and Hali Noll all had hits.
The following evening, the Lady E-Hawks hosted North Union and rallied for an 8-5 win.
North Union would draw first blood with two runs in the top of the first off a base hit and a pair of walks, while Emmetsburg would get a base hit from Jenna Chapman in their half of the inning, but left her waiting at second when the inning ended.
In the second, North Union would get a hit and put a runner on base off an error, but left both stranded. The Lady E-Hawks would see Kate Jackson rap out a single, only to be left waiting when the inning ended.
In the top of the third, North Union struck with one out off a solo home run by Sarah Rolling for a 3-0 lead before leaving two runners stranded on base.
Emmetsburg rallied in the bottom of the third, as Hali Noll led off with a walk and was followed on base by Chapman after an error. Malissa Niemann, running for Noll, would come home off a base hit from Tegan Olson, and Chapman would score off a sacrifice by Michaela Rehm to cut the score to 3-2 when the inning ended.
North Union added two runs in the top of the fourth as then went down two outs, and then got a double before Dena Looft rapped out a two-run home run shot. The big shot was followed by a double from Rolling, who was left waiting when he at-bat ended.
The Lady E-Hawks came alive offensively in the bottom of the fourth. Kate Jackson led off with a base hit and was followed by Bailee Garrelts with a base hit. A?single by Sarah Simington would score both Jackson and Garrelts before Hali Noll rapped out the fourth straight hit of the at-bat.
A passed ball would allow Simington to score her run before two strikeouts would follow, but Tegan Olson would rap out a base hit that scored Niemann.
A single from Michaela Rehm would move Olson to third base as Rehm stole second, but the duo would be left waiting when Ashton Connelly flew out to end the inning, but Emmetsburg had rallied to take 6-5 lead.
North Union would go down two outs and then got a runner on base off an error, only to leave the runner stranded. Emmetsburg would go down in order in the bottom of the fifth.
North Union would get a pair of hits in the top of the sixth but left the runners stranded. Emmetsburg would go down two outs before Jenna Chapman drew a walk and Tegan Olson got on base off an error. Michaela Rehm hit a double to score Chapman and Olson came around to score off Ashton Connelly's single for the insurance runs before the inning ended.
North Union would see their final chance for a rally sputter when they were put out in order in the top of the seventh, with Ashton Connelly ending the game with her sixth and seventh strikeouts of the contest.
Connelly would earn her third win of the week in the circle, as she gave up five runs, four earned, off 10 hits, including two home runs, while issuing two walks and earning seven strikeouts.
For the Lady E-Hawks, Michaela Rehm had a double and a single, while Tegan Olson and Kate Jackson both had two hits each. Jenna Chapman, Ashton Connelly, Bailee Garrelts, Sarah Simington and Hali Noll all added base hits to the winning effort.
Emmetsburg returns to action tonight (Tuesday) when they will host Pocahontas Area in a Junior Varsity-Varsity doubleheader. Wednesday Emmetsburg opens the Lakes Conference season at Spencer and then travel to Peterson on Thursday night for non-conference action.
In Junior Varsity play, Emmetsburg defeated West Hancock on Wednesday night by an 11-1 score. But on Thursday night, the Lady E-Hawk JV squad came up short against North Union by a 14-11 final tally.