Following a heartbreaking 4-3 loss Tuesday morning #3 Mid-Prairie returned to form blasting through a pair of consolation games at the state tournament in Ft. Dodge on Wednesday. In game one Mid-Prairie was matched up with #4 East Marshall who they lost to 3-0 a season ago at state. This year it was all Hawks taking the game 8-3. Mid-Prairie scored one in the first when a Maddie Kaalberg single drove in Alex Rath. After East Marshall tied it with a single run in the top of the third Mid-Prairie used the bottom of the inning take control scoring five runs on five hits and one Mustang error, chasing East Marshall starter Mariah Fritz. Kaalberg, Amber Kral and Mariah Swartzentruber had RBI in the inning. For good measure Mid-Prairie added two more in the fifth with Kaalberg and Swartzentruber scoring. The eight runs were more than enough for Olivia Lugar who recorded the win going six innings allowing five hits, three runs and walking two. Kaalberg and Swartzentruber led the Hawks with two hits and two RBI apiece. The game ended in the sixth inning due to the consolation time limit.
In the fifth place game Mid-Prairie handled unranked Estherville-Lincoln Central 6-2. Mid-Prairie scored in the first on an RBI single from Kaalberg that brought in Mallory McArtor. The Midgets would tie it in the third when Rachel Bates came in to score on a Macy Dahl RBI single. Mid-Prairie took the lead back in the bottom half of the third at 2-1 when Alex Rath singled and scored on an error at short stop. The Hawks dialed up their second big inning of the day to take control against ELC putting up four runs on four hits In the fourth. McArtor, Lexi Duwa, Ashley Sojka, and Michelle Erwin all scored in the frame with Erwin and Schulty getting credit for RBI. The six runs were plenty for Golden Hawk starter Taylor Kurtz who recorded the win going six innings allowing five hits, two runs, one earned, walking two and striking out three. Lugar returned to action pitching her final inning for the Golden Hawks when she sat down the Midgets in the seventh. All nine Mid-Prairie starters had at least one hit in the game. The win gave Mid-Prairie a fifth place finish in the state and after the game Head Coach Justin Lutjen talked about his teams hard work and the legacy left by his seven departing seniors.
“In the second game it was just like the first game, our pitching was great, or defense was spectacular and we hit the ball,” Lutjen said. “That’s the Mid-Prairie softball we’ve been used to all year long, and we put it together today, tow solid games against great competition. It’s hard to let go of these seniors, but it was a great ride, they started this thing together and they finished it together, and I told the younger kids that I fully expect to be here next year, but these seniors put together an amazing run and their leadership and their drive and showing how to do it and how we do things at Mid-Prairie, it;s been phenomenal,and the kids have been a joy to coach, and they kids are leaving me, but we’ll stay in touch they have bright futures ahead of all of them.”
Following the day two sweep Mid-Prairie ends their season at Ft. Dodge for the fourth year in a row with an overall record of 32-11.
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