Le Mars had their season come to an end on Saturday by falling in the Class 4A Region 1 semifinal to Sergeant Bluff-Luton by a final score of 4-3.
Le Mars started the game on the wrong foot allowing five of the first six Warriors hitters to reach base to open up the bottom of the first inning and, by the time it was over, three runs had scored. Le Mars responded quickly in the top of the second inning. Libby Leraas led off the inning with a double and was driven in by an Averie Morgan groundout.
Alivia Milbrodt went on to settle down in the circle retiring nine Warriors in a row entering the fourth inning when the Warriors scratched another run across on a two-out, pinch-hit, RBI double off the bat of eighth-grader Emma Crooks. Once again, Le Mars had an answer right away in the top of the fifth. Maggie Allen led off the inning with a solo home run that cut the Warrior lead down to two runs.
The Bulldogs and Warriors worked through scoreless sixth innings. The Bulldogs needed two runs in the seventh to keep their season alive. The inning started out well for Le Mars with a lead off base hit from Payton Wright followed by a walk from Alivia Milbrodt. Sarah Brown reached on an infield single that loaded the bases for Morgan Marienau who worked a seven-pitch walk to cut the Warrior lead to one and leave the bases loaded with one out. The inning ended with back-to-back groundouts to send Sergeant Bluff-Luton to the regional final with a 4-3 win.
Head Coach Keely Steffen saw a shift in energy from her team following the three-run first inning for the Warriors and they used that momentum the rest of the way to mount a comeback.
The fight that Coach Steffen saw from her team until the end was a result of a message that she had been repeating all season.
With her team being on the younger side, Coach Steffen knows that this fight that she sees now will translate to next year’s team.
The Bulldogs graduate three seniors, Alivia Milbrodt and Payton and Morgan Marienau. Coach Steffen knows it will be challenging to replace their play on the field and their leadership off of it.
The Bulldogs finish the year with a record of 25-13 after finishing 2nd in the MRAC standings with a conference record of 19-7. The 25 wins for Le Mars are the most for the softball program since they won 30 games in 2013.
The Warriors improved their record to 29-11 and will meet up with fifth-ranked Boone on Tuesday at 7:00 in Boone. The winner advances to Fort Dodge.
Class 1A Region 1:
#6 Akron-Westfield 5 G-T/R-A 1
#13 Remsen St. Mary’s 7 Westwood 2
Class 2A Region 1:
#8 North Union 4 Western Christian 3
Sioux Central 3 Ridge View 0
Class 2A Region 2:
#9 Underwood 11 Tri-Center 2
West Monona 11 Hinton 1
Class 3A Region 1:
#12 Sioux Center 2 Sheldon 1
Estherville-Lincoln Central 2 Spirit Lake 1
Class 3A Region 2:
#6 Atlantic 10 Cherokee 0
MOC-Floyd Valley 2 Okoboji 1
Missouri River Activities Conference:
Harlan 5 Le Mars 2
Bishop Heelan 6 Denison-Schleswig 2
#4 Council Bluffs St. Albert 16 Council Bluffs TJ 7
Council Bluffs AL 9 Glenwood 3
Sergeant Bluff-Luton 8 MOC-Floyd Valley 6
Class 4A Region 1:
#5 Boone 6 Webster City 0
Class 5A Region 1:
Sioux City East 12 Council Bluffs TJ 2