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Lady Spartans continue to challenge ranked opponents

CEDAR RAPIDS– The Lady Spartans picked up their first two losses of the season last week, but both came against ranked opponents.
Solon’s varsity softball team split a doubleheader with No. 12 (in 3A) Mt Vernon before a narrow loss to No. 3 (4A) Des Moines East at the Bill Hennessey Classic Softball Tournament held at Cedar Rapids Jefferson.
But Solon, now 12-2 on the season, stayed close to No. 2 West Delaware at the top of the WaMaC East standings, and continued to rack up wins against quality opponents.
The Lady Spartans split a June 6 doubleheader at Mt. Vernon. In the first game, Alyssa Rickels went 3-3, scoring twice and stealing one base. Arran Weeces had 10 strikeouts and gave up three hits and three walks in the 5-1 win.
Mirroring the first game, Solon lost the second half of the double bill, 1-5. Kara Misel went 3-3 and Emma Rickels hit 2-3. Pitcher Casey Musgrave gave up six hits and only two earned runs.
Later in the week, Solon pounded out 19 hits in a 7-1 drubbing of Marion at home. Alyssa Rickels went 4-4 with a stolen base. Musgrave hit 2-3, Misel went 3-3 (with two doubles), Emma Rickels was 3-4, and Ali Herdliska went 2-4 with three RBIs. Weeces struck out 11 Marion batters and gave up four hits.
Solon stranded 11 runners, leaving the bases loaded the last three innings.
Facing No. 3 Des Moines East Friday at the Bill Hennessey Classic Softball Tournament in Cedar Rapids, the Lady Spartans couldn’t keep up with the Scarlet team, losing 3-2. Solon standout hitters were Emily Bransky and Alyssa Rickels, who each went 2-4 with an RBI apiece. Ali Herdliska scored twice in the losing effort.
Against local rival Iowa City High, Solon recorded a 10-0 shutout. Pitcher Arran Weeces struck out nine of 17 batters faced. Weeces went 1-2 with a triple and two RBIs. Mel Breza and Misel went 2-2, both scored twice. Breza had a stolen base and Misel hit a double.
Against Southeast Polk (ranked #15 in Class 4A), Solon eked out a victory behind pitcher Kristen Purdy. The Lady Spartans were outhit 11-7 but able to capitalize when it counted. Herdliska hit 3-4 with three steals and Emma Rickels scored three runs in the 7-6 win.
A 10th-ranked (Class 4A) Fort Dodge team had trouble decoding Weeces’ pitches in a 4-1 win for the Lady Spartans. She struck out 13 batters and gave up the only Fort Dodge run. Alyssa Rickels went 4-4, Misel and Stewart hit 2-3.