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Lady Spartans undefeated WaMaC champs

SOLON– It’s tough to argue Solon’s continued No. 1 ranking in Class 3A softball.
The Lady Spartans ended the regular season 32-6 over the weekend, finishing with a win over host Ottumwa at a tournament Friday.
Solon’s girls did pick up two losses last week, but they were to two of the best teams in the state.
Clear Creek Amana (No. 1 in Class 4A), perhaps the best team in any class, came to Solon last week and snatched victory away with a late surge, 11-4, while Cedar Rapids Jefferson (No. 4 in Class 5A) squeaked past Solon 3-2 in the first round of the Ottumwa tournament.
The Lady Spartans finished the season undefeated in the WaMaC East division, taking doubleheaders from both Central DeWitt and Anamosa last week.
DeWitt came to town Monday, June 25, as the opener of a five-game home stand for the travel-tested Lady Spartans.
Solon cranked out 11 runs in the first inning and posted a 14-2 win, with Kara Misel belting a home run and collecting five RBI. Emily Bransky and Mel Breza each had a double and two RBI, while Taylor Nearad added two of Solon’s four stolen bases.
Arran Weeces and Emily Ira combined for a no-hitter on the mound.
The Lady Spartans were not quite as prolific in the second game, a 9-0 win.
Emma Rickels was 2-3 at the plate with two doubles, while Nearad was 3-4 with a double. Solon scored in each of the first four innings. Each had two RBI. Pitcher Holly Hinkel scattered six hits in a seven-inning shut-out.
The Lady Spartans also roughed up Anamosa in another conference doubleheader Thursday, June 28.
Solon posted 10 runs in the first two innings and cruised to a 12-1 win, highlighted by another Misel home run. Misel was 3-3 at the plate, including a double, with 4 RBI. Alyssa Rickels was 2-2 with a triple, two stolen bases and two RBI.
Weeces pitched five innings for the win, striking out five and allowing a single earned run.
Misel was 3-4 with a double and two RBI in the second game, while Rylee Smith went 2-4 with two RBI. Mel Breza was 4-4 in the batter’s box, while Alyssa Rickels was 2-3 with two more stolen bases in 10-2 win.
The Lady Spartans broke a 1-1 tie open in the fifth inning with nine runs.
Hinkel took the win, striking out four in seven innings pitched.
Sandwiched between the doubleheaders was the rematch with CCA. The Clippers had beaten Solon the week before in Tiffin, and Solon held a 4-2 lead into the fifth inning Wednesday before CCA took the game with a six-run explosion in the top of the seventh inning.
Emma Rickels had a double and scored two of the team’s four runs in the 11-4 loss. Rickels also made a fine defensive play, diving for a shallow fly ball in left field.
Weeces and Ira combined on the mound, with Ira taking the loss.