Clark hits first career HR as Wildcats win NCC title
HUMBOLDT — Ashlyn Clark has been defying the odds all season long, and on Senior Night Monday, she continued her story of triumph.
Clark, who is battling Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, has been playing in between chemo treatments. On an evening that honored her classmates, she delivered with a memorable at-bat.
Clark helped lead the Wildcats to their fourth consecutive North Central Conference championship, slugging her first career home run in the win over Clear Lake.
“You couldn’t have written a better script,” said Humboldt head coach Doug Van Pelt. “She has been defying the odds all season long. Going 3-for-3 with four RBI and a moon shot for a home run on Senior Night.
“Up and down the lineup, we had great at bats. Our hitting was continagous.”
The No. 3 (Class 3A) Wildcats (27-2 overall, 13-1 in the North Central Conference) topped Clear Lake 10-0 on Monday to win the title outright.
“It’s pretty special to win it outright and get our fourth (title) in a row,” Van Pelt said. “We had a big target on our back for 14 nights; you have to be mentally ready. We finished with an exceptional game.”
It was an early birthday present for Clark, who is turning 18 years old on Tuesday. She crushed her first career home run and went 3-for-3 with four RBI.
Her sophomore sister Kendal also had a big game, going 2-for-3 with three RBI and a double. Carlie Thompson added two hits on the night.
Junior pitcher Ellie Jacobson tossed a no-hitter in the five-inning contest, striking out eight. It was the sixth consecutive shutout and 10th straight victory for Humboldt, which exacted revenge for an earlier loss to the Lions.
“We talked about rolling into the postseason,” Van Pelt said. “We had a couple of big innings and rode the momentum.
“Looking back, that was a good loss for us. We got behind the eight ball in that first game, and we weren’t totally ready for that.
“(On Monday) we were ready.”
Humboldt opens Class 3A postseason play on Wednesday at home against Sheldon. First pitch is at 7 p.m.