The M State Lady Spartans battled the #8 team in the country, the St. Cloud Technical and Community College Cyclones, Wednesday at Riverside Park in Waite Park but came up short in both games. The Lady Spartans lost game one 4-0 and held a late lead in game two before falling 9-4. St. Cloud is the Southern Division champions and will host the Region XIII tournament next week.
In game one, the Lady Spartans had baserunners, but were unable to get a clutch hit to drive a run across. St. Cloud scored all four of their runs in the fourth inning and won the game 4-0.
In game two, the Lady Spartans finally received some clutch hitting. Trailing 1-0 with two out in the top of the fourth, Macky Warne laced a double to left center. Lupkes followed that up with a clutch two out single to score Warne and the Lady Spartans were on the board with a 1-1 score.
St. Cloud took the lead back in their half of the fourth, scoring two runs to take a 3-1 lead. That score stood until the Lady Spartans went to work in the top of the sixth. With one out, Sid Imsande tripled to right center. She scored on a single by Warne. Lupkes singled and Lindsey Dierks plated Warne with another single to tie the score 3-3. Katie Merrick hit the ball hard and reached on an error by the short stop. Tina Rice drove in a run with a fielder's choice and the Lady Spartans had a 4-3 lead.
Unfortunately, that lead didn't last long. The Lady Spartans were unable to make some plays in the field behind pitcher Warne and the Cyclones scored six runs to take a 9-4 lead and win the game by that score.
The Lady Spartans wrap up the regular season with a pair of games against Rochester Community and Technical College on Friday. Game time is 3:00.