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.