It was only fitting that a Class 4A quarterfinal filled with imperfections ended in an unconventional way here on Tuesday.
Allie Jo Zieser flew into what became a scattered double play to nix Independence’s last-chance rally and allow Sergeant Bluff-Luton to escape with a 3-2 victory on Diamond 2 at Rogers Park.
With the tying run at second base, Zieser lofted a ball to right-center field. Lydia Butters — who had led off the inning with a single and advanced on a sacrifice — went to tag up, but left the bag early.
As the relay throw went sailing over third base, Butters was scrambling back to second instead of heading home. She didn’t make it in time, and the sixth-seeded Warriors (25-13 overall) broke into a mid-field celebration with their mild upset of the No. 3 seed Mustangs (34-7).
“It was a crazy play in a game full of crazy plays,” SB-L head coach Tom Prince said. “There were a lot of errors and mistakes on both sides. Someone had to come out on top — we were just fortunate it was us.
“The girls kept battling. Being here last year made a big difference; I don’t care who you are, it’s tough to come down here for the first time (in 13 years, like Independence) and not feel the pressure some.”
There were eight combined errors in the first four innings alone. The Warriors jumped ahead with two runs in the first inning, but Independence tied things up with a pair of unearned runs in the fourth on a two-run single by Abby Davis.
Madelyn Mogensen delivered what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the sixth with a two-out RBI single.
Senior Bradee Bouman (16-9) did the rest, finishing with a complete game six-hitter. She walked one and struck out one.
“I’m just so proud of my team,” Bouman said. “This was just an incredible win for us after (last season, when SB-L went 0-3 and placed eighth). I think we were underestimated and overlooked this time around, and we kind of like that role.”
As for the final play, Bouman laughed and added, “I think I was screaming louder than anyone to (throw it back to second and double Butters off).”
Chloe Black went 2-for-3 with two runs scored for the Warriors, who now face Des Moines Hoover (20-7) in a 4A semifinal on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on Diamond 2. The Huskies advanced with an upset of second-seeded Charles City.
Independence meets Charles City on Dodger Diamond in a consolation contest Wednesday at 1 p.m.
SERGEANT BLUFF-LUTON 3,
SB-L 200 001 0 — 3 7 4
Indy 000 200 0 — 2 6 4
WP–Bradee Bouman (16-9; 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K). LP–Mackenzie Hupke (23-4; 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K).