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Lady Spartans homer happy

SOLON– The Lady Spartans are starting to look a lot like their counterparts on the next field.
Mel Breza, Kara Misel and Casey Musgrave hit home runs (Musgrave’s first, see story below) for the Solon varsity softball squad last week.
The Lady Spartans moved to 22-7 on the season and 13-2 in the WaMaC East, going 5-1 against No. 8 West Delaware, Vinton-Shellsburg, Mid-Prairie and No. 6 Keokuk. Solon is sixth in the Class 3A rankings released June 24 by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.
The week started with a tough battle against conference foe West Delaware, and Solon settled for a split, taking the first game 2-0 and dropping the nightcap 2-3.
Kristen Purdy scattered three hits for the win on the mound in game one.
Misel went 2-2 at the plate while Breza was 1-2 with a stolen base and a run scored. Solon was patient at the plate and aggressive on the bases, picking up three walks and three stolen bases to help supplement six hits.
Two runs wasn’t enough in the second game.
Solon trailed the entire game after West Delaware scored a single run in each of the first two innings and an insurance run in the seventh. The Lady Spartans pushed runners across home plate in the fifth and seventh.
Holly Hinkel picked up the loss, with Emily Ira pitching two-thirds of an inning in relief.
Misel went 2-3 with a solo home run and a double, but Solon only had five hits for the game.
Defense and offense weren’t a problem against Vinton-Shellsburg Thursday.
Solon pounded Vinton-Shellsburg for 21 runs in the doubleheader, taking both, 10-0 and 11-1.
Purdy pitched a no-hitter (her first) in game one, while both Breza and Musgrave belted home runs (Musgrave’s ended the game in the bottom of the fifth on the 10-run rule). Misel was 2-3 with two doubles, and the Lady Spartans scored in every inning but the first.
Emily Bransky was 1-3 with a walk and a stolen base, Alyssa Rickels was 2-3, Ali Herdliska was 1-3 with two RBI and Rylee Smith was 2-2.
In the second game, Hinkel allowed only two hits and struck out eight for the win.
Solon collected 15 hits on the night, building a 5-0 lead in the first four innings and then breaking it wide open with six runs in the fifth and sixth.
Hannah Turkal’s two-out double ended the game, driving in the 11th run. Turkal was 3-4, while Musgrave was 3-3 with a double. Misel and Smith were 2-3, while Alyssa Rickels was 2-4 with two stolen bases.
The Lady Spartans defeated both Mid-Prairie and Keokuk while participating in the Clear Creek Amana Softball Tournament Friday.
Purdy picked up the win against Mid-Prairie in a 6-3 decision that started with the Golden Hawks jumping out to a 0-3 lead.
Solon battled back, taking the lead in the sixth inning.
Bransky, Alyssa Rickels, Misel, Emma Rickels, Rachel Stewart and Smith each had two hits, while Herdliska had three.
It wasn’t quite as dramatic in the next round, a 7-1 win over ranked Keokuk.
Hinkel scattered five hits, allowing only one run while striking out six.
The Lady Spartans took the lead with back-to-back home runs by Misel and Breza in the second inning and Emma Rickels doubled and then scored on a single by Smith. Bransky added three hits and three stolen bases.