LE MARS - The Cherokee Washington High softball team split two games in the Le Mars Invitational Tourament here Friday, falling 9-1 to Le Mars Gehlen, and defeating Sioux City West 6-4.
Kelsey Ludwig got the pitching loss for Cherokee, allowing three earned runs on five hits in two innings of work. Katie Sambrano relieved Ludwig in the third inning and gave up three earned runs on five hits, and struck out five in four innings of work.
"Gehlen came out of the gates swinging the bats and playing with a lot of energy," said Cherokee coach Jeremy Dettmer. "We could not match their enthusiasm and energy and got behind big early.
'Katie came in to pitch in the third inning and struck out her first batter. That seemed to help motivate the team and we started to play better after that."
Ludwig got the pitching win over Sioux City West, allowing four earned runs on six scattered hits and five strikeouts in six innings of work.
Cherokee held a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning and gave up four runs on four hits, an error, and two walks to trail 4-3. However, the WHS gals battled back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead when the tournament time limit ran out.
"Even though we had a 3-0 lead most of the game, we had to make some outstanding defensive plays during this time to keep them off the scoreboard," said Dettmer. "We had a season-high 14 hits, but left most of the runners on base. The good news is that we answered their four runs with three of our own to get the win."
Designated hitter Autumn Shefer was 3-4 with an RBI to pace the Cherokee effort, while Lynn Carlson was 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored, Drennan stroked two hits in four trips, Jesselyn Racine was 1-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, and Alison Husman 1-2 with a run scored. Also registering hits for Cherokee were Essick, Shauna Drefke, and Valentine.