A double, a passed ball and a single were all the top-ranked (Class 3A) Solon softball team needed to move into their sixth state championship game in the last 10 years.
The Spartans plated one run in the first inning, defeating No. 5 Estherville-LC 1-0 on Thursday in a state semifinal Thursday.
Solon (37-6 overall) will face No. 9 Ballard (34-9) on Friday afternoon in the state finals on Diamond 1 at 2:30 p.m.
Emily Bransky doubled, moved to third on a passed ball, and came around to score on a single by Alyssa Rickels for the lone run of the game. That was enough for Arran Weeces, who allowed just two hits and struck out five.
Solon had been lighting up the scoreboard as of late, but struggled to find much offense after the first against Syracuse University-signee Kendall Bosch of Estherville-LC (28-7). Bosch, who took a liner off her pitching hand, struck out five and allowed just four hits to the Spartans.
"That is what championship-level softball should be like," said Solon head coach Ben Sorden. "Kendall is a great pitcher, and we were able to get that run across in the first. We didn't do much after that, but it was enough."
The Spartans have claimed two titles and three runner-up finishes in the last decade, but placed eighth last year not winning a game. Now, they are back in the championship, something that allowed Bransky to let out a victory celebration.
"I am just so happy," Bransky said. "When I saw that ball coming at me (for the last out), there was no way I wasn't getting it."
Solon had scored 10-or-more runs four times in its last eight games, including twice in the postseason, but couldn't breakthrough against Bosch, whose father, Mike, is an assistant coach at Syracuse. Mike Bosch is also a former coach at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville.
"I think that shot she took in the first might have hurt her a little," Bransky said. "It didn't help us enough, though, as we didn't score again. But she did a nice job of hitting the corners with her pitches, and we just couldn't figure it out."
Estherville-LC will face third-ranked Bondurant-Farrar (36-8) for third today on Diamond 2 at 1:30 p.m. The Midgettes finished fifth last year. Sadie Winter had two hits in the loss.
Solon 1, Estherville-LC 0
E-LC 000 000 0 0 3 1
Solon 100 000 x 1 4 0
Kendall Bosch (L, 19-7, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)) and Taylor Lago; Arran Weeces (W, 20-2, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K) and Hannah Turkal. 2B S: Emily Bransky. RBI S: Alyssa Rickels. SB E-LC: Sadie Winter.