The Linn-Mar softball team will play in a brand-new stadium next year as part of a new joint baseball/softball complex in town.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the final game at their old field was not a happy occasion.
Dubuque Senior defeated Linn-Mar, 9-6, in 10 innings in the Class 5A regional semifinals.
The Lions began the game with a roar. They scored five runs in the first inning on a three-run homer by Maggie Rizor and a two-run single by Lauren Swanson.
After that, they were held scoreless until the bottom of the ninth when they needed a run to tie and stay alive. Rizor provided the run with an RBI single.
Rizor almost supplied the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh, but Dubuque's Haley Zenner threw out Kelsey Duggan at the plate.
In the end, the Rams showed more consistent execution and that proved to be the difference.
“It was a little too hard to overcome the extra outs we gave them during the game,” said Linn-Mar Coach Jon Harms. “We felt like we had a good shot coming into the game, we just came up a little short.”
Rizor led the Lions with three hits and four RBIs. Her biggest hit may have come in the third inning when she lined a shot off Dubuque pitcher A.J. Medinger.
They retired Rizor for the third out, but Medinger was done for the night. Natalie Jacobsmeier relieved and pitched eight innings for the win.
“The pitch I hit out was a low pitch and I didn’t think it was a home run until I saw coach Digmann going crazy at first base,” said Rizor. “I sort of feel bad for A.J, she threw me a pitch that was right down the middle and that was where I hit it. I hope she will be all right.”
Alexis Kelsey and Kortlan Ollinger collected two hits for Linn-Mar. Kelsey pitched the first two innings, was replaced by Cheyenne Hansen in the third and then re-entered on the mound in the sixth inning to finish the game.
“Through the season I was asked to pitch more and more and by the end of the season, I was pitching regularly,” said Kelsey. “I just have to pitch as well as I can.”
Kristie Sommer and Liz Reuter collected two hits for Senior while Sydney Tigges and Zenner hit solo home runs.
“To commemorate the last game on the field, we thought we would honor all of the girls who have played on this diamond by leaving our shoes at home plate at the end of the game, to pay respect to all those who have played here before,” said Harms.
Linn-Mar finished with a 20-18 record. Dubuque Senior advanced to the regional finals with a 33-7 mark.
DUBUQUE SENIOR (9)
Ka Sommer, ss, 5 1 1 1, Gerardy 3b, 4 0 0 0, Kr Sommer, c, 5 0 2 2, Zenner, rf, 6 1 1 1, Medinger, p, 2 0 1 0, Westhoff, lf, 3 1 0 0, Tigges, 1b, 5 1 1 1, Jacobsmeier, lf/p, 3 3 1 0, Blatz, 2b, 2 0 0 0, Reuter, cf, 4 2 2 3. Totals 39 9 9 8.
Ollinger, cf, 5 2 2 0, Duggan, 2b, 5 0 1 0, Kelsey, p/ss, 3 0 2 0, Decker, cr, 0 1 0 0, Rizor, 1b, 5 1 3 4, Ryan, ss/rf, 4 1 0 0, Hansen, dp/p, 5 0 1 0, Harms, rf, 0 0 0 0, Larson, pr, 0 0 0 0, Kolf, lf, 5 1 1 0, Swanson, 3b, 5 0 1 2, Yearling, c, 4 0 0 0. Totals 43 6 11 6.
Dubuque Senior 030 020 001 3 - 9 8 2
Linn-Mar 500 000 001 0 - 6 11 4
Medinger, Jacobsmeier (3) and Kr Sommer; Kelsey, Hansen (3), Kelsey (6) and Yearling. W - Jacobsmeier. L - Kelsey. HR - Rizor, Tigges, Zenner. SB - Ka Sommer, Kr Sommer, Zenner, Reuter.
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