Game one was a heartbreaker as the Lady Spartans battled to a scoreless tie for eight innings, scored one run in the top of the ninth, and saw St. Cloud win the game with two runs in the bottom of the ninth. The Lady Spartans ran out of gas and lost game two 9-0.
"Game one was a classic" commented Steve King, head coach of the Lady Spartans. "Both pitchers were on top of their game. Tarryn Justesen was outstanding for us and both teams played great defense. We took the lead but couldn't get the final outs for the win. In game two we were exhausted and it showed. This team did an outstanding job this week of competing. It's final week which is very stressful and exhausting. We traveled twice and took on two nationally ranked teams. Looking back, we had a legitimate opportunity to win three of the four game, so too only win one is a little disappointing but takes nothing away from the character of this team. I'm very proud of them and we look forward to regionals."
In game one Lady Spartan pitcher Tarryn Justesen threw her best game of the season and held a very potent Cyclone offense scoreless for eight inning striking out 10 batters. The Lady Spartans threatened in the sixth but had a runner cut down at the plate trying to tag on a fly ball to left. Justesen worked out of a first and third jam in the eighth to move the game along in a scoreless tie to the ninth inning.
In the top of the ninth, Haley Poehler walked and Doranna Blascyk laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Poehler to second. Poehler came around to score on a clutch two out double by Sidney Imsande to make the score 1-0. The next Lady Spartan hitter Ally Jensen sent a deep fly ball to left that looked like a sure hit but the Cyclone left fielder made a great catch to save a run and get the final out of the inning and keep the score 1-0 in favor of the Lady Spartans.
In the bottom of the ninth, Justesen got the first out on a nice catch of a hard hit ball by second baseman Ally Jensen. A walk and a double put Cyclone runners on second and third with one out. Justesen made her only mistake of the day throwing a wild pitch that allowed the Cyclones to tie the game 1-1. They scored the next run on a very well executed squeeze play and won the game 2-1.
Game two was all Cyclones as the Lady Spartans couldn't generate any offense against a very good pitcher. Doranna Blascyk worked hard pitching for the Lady Spartans, but the energy and the defense just wasn't there and the Cyclones won the game 9-0.
The Lady Spartans head to regional the #3 seed in the Southern Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference. St. Cloud won the division and will host the Region 13 tournament with the winner advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament. The Lady Spartans will play the #2 seed Anoka Ramsey Thursday at 10:00 at Rivers Edge Park in Waite Park.