Creek girls place eighth at state softball
North Liberty Leader
FORT DODGE– They ended up at the bottom of the brackets in the eighth-place slot, but for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers, there was much to hold their heads high about looking at the 2014 season.
A Class 4A quarterfinal round loss to Solon on Monday, July 21, led the Clippers to the consolation brackets Wednesday, July 23. First up was a 10 a.m. battle with Oskaloosa, which had lost 7-2 to Carlisle. The Indians won 3-1 to advance to the fifth-place game while CCA took on the Lady Bulldogs of Le Mars in the seventh-place game later that day. Le Mars took that contest 8-3.
The Clippers were down 3-0 against Oskaloosa until the top of the sixth inning when Lauren Stopko doubled and came home on a single by Molly Villhauer. The Indians had scored two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth.
CCA had four hits from Stopko (2), Villhauer and Courtney James. Stopko was 2-3 at the plate to lead the Clipper offense. Lexi Kinnaird pitched six innings, taking the loss and giving up four hits and three earned runs. She walked two and struck-out eight.
In the 2 p.m. eighth-place game, the Lady Bulldogs put two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning and held the Clippers scoreless until the top of the fifth when CCA rallied back with three runs.
Jacquelyn Fairholm scored an unearned run to put the Clippers on the scoreboard when Mallory Neubauer reached on an error. Stopko singled and advanced on an error, which allowed Neubauer to score to tie the game. Madi Rogers scampered across home plate on a Bulldog error to give CCA the lead.
The Bulldogs bit hard in the bottom of the inning, however, with a six-run rally to put the game out of reach.
The Clippers had eight hits from Neubauer, Stopko (3), Eden Campbell, James and Fairholm (2). Stopko was 3-4 at the plate while Fairholm went 2-3. Kinnaird went the distance again, giving up 10 hits and eight runs (five earned) including a home run. She walked one and struck-out four.
The loss ended the CCA season with a 22-20 record under first-year coach Barb Lynn and marked the squad’s first state tournament appearance since 2012.