FINISH WITH A FLOURISH
Humboldt secures bronze in Class 3A with win
Friday’s Class 3A consolation championship was won by the Humboldt softball team well before they returned to Rogers Park.
After placing a school-best fifth last year, the fourth-ranked Wildcats held on for a 5-4 victory over No. 2 and defending state runner-up Albia to finish third overall.
Kendal Clark was 2-for-3 with two RBI, Ashlyn Clark drove in another run and Ellie Jacobson pitched through a talented Lady Dee lineup for her 30th win of the season.
“We were ready to play and there was no doubt who wanted to win this game and play in this game,” Humboldt head coach Doug Van Pelt said. “We came down here to win this thing and our girls proved they wanted to play. Now, we’re bringing home a very nice third-place trophy.”
The Wildcats (32-4 overall) graduated seven seniors from last year, but the returning players, seniors Rachel Darling and Maggie Bennett, and the newcomers were up for the challenge of keeping the tradition going.
Albia (32-6) had scored a 9-0 victory over Humboldt during the regular season, but the Wildcats struck first in this one. Alexis Hansen scored on a wild pitch and Ashlyn Clark drove in Darling to make it 2-0 in the second.
Kendal Clark had her two-RBI single in the next inning as Jacobson worked out of a bases loaded jam in the same frame.
“Ellie was just sensational,” Van Pelt said. “That is an offense that is loaded, was second in the state last year, ranked second all year and thumped us during the regular season.
“We wanted a little respect, and we came down here and got it.”
Jacobson struck out Makenna Ross in the third with the bases full after working around a two-on, no-out situation in the first. The sophomore finished with four strikeouts and six hits allowed.
The Lady Dees got on the board in the sixth with the time-limit running down when Hannah Isley launched a pitch over the fence for a three-run homer. Isley, who will play at the University of Northern Iowa in the fall, had been walked in her first two at-bats.
With just Darling and Bennett graduating Humboldt will be primed for another trip to the state tournament. This was the first time they had qualified in back-to-back seasons this past year.
“Rachel and Maggie were great leaders and helped us carry on that Wildcat tradition,” Van Pelt said. “With this program, it has always been about that next group and next girl in to carry the torch.
“(Placing third) means so much to this program because so many former players are here. They started it and these girls continue it on. Hopefully, we’ll continue into the future.”
Jacobson and Mady Lange, Humboldt’s sophomore catcher, were both named to the all-tournament team.
HUMBOLDT 5, ALBIA 4
Humboldt 022 100 — 5 5 1
Albia 000 004 — 4 6 2
WP–Ellie Jacobson (30-3, 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 K, 5 BB); LP–Jena Lawrence (23-4, 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 8 K, 4 BB).
HR–A: Hannah Isley. 2B–A: Makenna Ross. RBI–H: Kendal Clark (2), Ashlyn Clark; A: Hannah Isley (3), Abbey Griffin.