The Waukee Warriors ended their season by playing the 2017 State Softball Championship game on Friday, July 21. The Warriors took on the Pleasant Valley Spartans for the Class 5A State Title, but became runners-up when they lost 8-2.
The Spartans proved they were there to play right from the start of the game when they scored five runs in the first inning.
The Spartans loaded the bases immediately when their first three batters, Carli Spelhaug, Mallory Lafever and Alexia Lara all hit singles. Hannah Mausser followed the trend with another base hit which allowed Carli Spelhaug to score the first run.
Elli Spelhaug was up to bat next, she also hit a single which brought Lafever back home. The Warriors were finally able to get one out on the board with the next Spartan batter, but they weren’t able to stop Lara from scoring on the play. The Spartans led 3-0.
The Warriors gave up two more runs before getting another out, and allowed the Spartans a third run before the end of the inning. By the end of the first inning, the Spartans led 6-0.
The Warriors tried to make a bit of a come back in their half of the inning. Logan Akason started the inning with a base hit for the Warriors.
Delaney Taylor followed Akason with a hit, but was tagged out at first. Luckily though, her hit still allowed Akason to advanced to second.
Sarah Schaefer was the Warrior up to bat next. While she was at bat, Akason had stolen third and with Schaefer’s single, she scored the Warriors’ first run.
Unfortunately, the Warriors’ half of the inning ended there when Morgan Nealey’s hit was caught and Grace Clouser (Schaefer’s runner) was tagged out back at first base. The first inning ended 6-1.
“They came out swinging the bats more aggressive and we had a couple things that didn’t go our way,” said coach Carrie Eby. “You know, the girls were a little nervous, you’ve got to make plays right off the bat and you’ve got to have luck on your way when you win the championship, so props to them.”
The Warriors were able to hold off the Spartans in the top of second half.
Just like the first inning, the second inning started out quick for the Warriors. Molly Platte began with a single to get herself to base.
Following Platte was Kasey Costa, who was tagged out at first base, but her hit allowed Platte to advance to second base.
Kelli Fogt then hit another single for the Warriors. Fogt’s hit allowed Platte to round third and run back over home plate for the Warriors’ second run of the game.
Jalyn Yaukovitz had the third hit of the inning, but was the only batter left on base after Fogt was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice.
The inning ended after Natalie Wellet was also thrown out at first and the scored read 6-2.
After an out, Rachel Tebbe got the third inning going for the Spartans with a double. Tebbe’s hit was followed by a base hit from Carli Spelhaug, which allowed Tebbe to score the Spartans’ seventh run.
The two hits were followed by two more outs, ending the first half of the inning.
Unfortunately, only Akason was able to make it to base in the third inning after a bunt. By the end of the inning, the Spartans led 7-2.
Neither had any hits or runs in the fourth inning, and the Warriors were able to hold the Spartans in the top of the fifth as well.
After an out, Wellet had the first hit of the fifth inning for the Warriors. Akason followed the hit with one of her own, but courtesy runner, Kate Felt was thrown out at second leaving her alone on the bases.
Akason was left on base when the inning ended after Taylor was struck out and the score remained 7-2.
The Warriors couldn’t hold the Spartans any longer in the sixth inning.
Carli Spelhaug began the inning with a hit and, after an out, was moved to second when Lara was walked to base. With a hit by Mausser, Carli Spelhaug was able to run back home for the Spartans’ final run of the game.
The Warriors were able to get the Spartans’ next two batters out and the top of the inning ended 8-2.
The Warriors weren’t able to come back in the bottom of the sixth inning or the seventh inning. The game ended with the Spartans taking the State Title after an 8-2 victory.
The Warriors ended their season as 2017 State Runners-Up with a 40-4 record.
“We’re proud of the girls,” said Eby,” you’ve got to have luck on your side, you’ve got to have a lot of things go your way to go to that championship game so we’re proud of our girls, they’ve worked hard all season long. We want to enjoy this one a little bit, the girls worked hard and we had an incredible season, and you know, now we know what it takes and a lot of our younger kids can learn from our seniors moving forward.”