To put the situation in another light, at the Iowa State Softball Tournament on Monday, second-rated Lisbon upset Wayne 1-0.
It was another great game in northern Iowa for the Lady Falcons, but this time the sun got in the way. Wayne fell to 2nd-ranked Lisbon 1-0, the only run for the Lions coming on an infield fly lost in the afternoon glare, then driven in later that inning.
The Lady Falcons also left 8 runners on base, but fought back in the 7th on a Mya Willey double that would’ve been a homerun at Carpenter Field.
Freshman Sterling Berndt started the game with a single, but after senior Raegan Tilley’s sacrifice bunt and a Camryn Jacobsen walk, Wayne left 2 on. Berndt pitched an excellent game. Lions batters only hit the softball out of the infield 5 times.
Lisbon got on base first with a passed ball on a Berndt strikeout. By the 3rd inning she was cruising, finishing the frame with 2 strikeouts on changeups.
It was the 4th inning when luck ran out for the Lady Falcons. Berndt forced a ground out, and then forced a pop fly, which fell in front of Berndt and Emily Jones. It was no one’s fault.
“They lost it in the sun,” head coach Heather Fortune said. “What can you do?”
It would have been an easy out, and the second of the inning. After Berndt issued a walk, Tilley almost caught a lazy fly that fell for a hit and drove in the accidental runner. Jaide Harvey backed up Tilley after her slide, however, holding the Lions to 1 run, before freshman Maddy Wood made an amazing play at shortstop, dodging a Lisbon runner to make a clean pick.
Harvey and Wood’s heroics in that inning should not be overlooked. It gave Wayne a chance to win.
The Lady Falcons had left 2 on in the top of the 4th inning, and again stranded 2 runners in the 5th.
Wayne’s chances looked bad with the bottom of the lineup coming up in the 7th inning down 1-0, but every batter forced Lisbon’s defense to make a play.
Senior Bayleigh Kellis grounded out, before Mya Willey had the biggest clutch hit of her career, a double that would have been a homerun at Carpenter Field. With 2 strikes on her, Jaide Harvey got bat on ball, but grounded out.
That is when Berndt’s hitting ability got the best of her. Instead of taking a chance, Lisbon intentionally walked Berndt. Tilley was up next, and she gave the softball a ride, but right into an outfielder’s glove for the final out of her fine career.
“This is valuable experience for our ballclub,” Fortune said. “We hope to be back next year.”
Berndt struck out 4, and only technically allowed 3 hits and 1 earned run. She also led the team with 2 hits and 1 walk.
Jones had 1 hit. Jacobsen and Wood each drew 1 walk.
“Maybe the State will pay attention to us next year,” outgoing Superintendent Dave Daughton added of Wayne never being ranked all season, but in the end giving the 2nd-rated team in the State almost too much to handle.