ACKLEY — Belle Plaine cashed in the few opportunities it had Monday and denied AGWSR a trip to the state softball tournament, 3-2.
The 12th-ranked Plainsmen scored in the first on two infield hits and a sacrifice and made it 2-0 in the second when Elyse Striegel doubled, stole third and raced home on a passed ball.
AGWSR got within 2-1 in the third when Taryn Barrick took a fastball to the helmet with the bases loaded.
Belle Plaine added another run in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to Ashton Bohlen’s RBI ground out that enabled Shaylee Dodd to score from third.
Trailing 3-1, AGWSR again got within a run when Ali Gerbracht singled and pinch-runner Haley Baker eventually scored on a passed ball. But the Cougars couldn’t take advantage in the sixth when they left two runners on base.
Barrick struck out nine and allowed just six hits in the pitching circle for AGWSR.
“It wasn’t her strongest performance of the year, but she definitely pitched well enough for us to win,” said Cougars coach Scott O’Brien.
Belle Plaine, ranked 12th, moves on with a 23-6 record while eighth-ranked AGWSR finished 26-13.
“We came this far west and now we’ve got to keep going,” said Belle Plaine coach Cathy Cranbaugh. “The sky is the limit for this team. They are young in age, experience and maturity, but we expect everything they have and they give it to us.”
O’Brien said his Cougars just weren’t on their game.
“We weren’t overly confident,” said O’Brien. “It was what I was afraid of, she (Belle Plaine pitcher Katie Cubbage) just jammed us in and we didn’t adjust.
“We had our chances to take it, but nobody stepped up with the swing we needed when we needed it. This was a great opportunity. We had the right schedule and the right teams. (Belle Plaine) is a nice team, but we should have had five or six runs tonight and not just two.”
Belle Plaine 3, AGWSR 2
AGWSR 001 001 0 — 2 4 2
Belle Plaine 110 010 x — 3 6 1
WP—Katie Cubbage and Shaylee Stanerson. LP—Taryn Barrick and Ali Gerbracht. 2B—Elyse Streigel (BP).