Visiting Le Mars exploded to a 7-0 lead in the first inning on the way to an 11-4 Lakes Conference win over the plucky Cherokee Washington High softball team that ended the regular season for both squads.
Cherokee battled to answer back with two runs in the bottom of the first after consecutive singles by Megan Hummel, Sarah Ruehle, and Shanon Shaefer, followed by a two-run single by Autumn Shaefer.
Cherokee added two more runs in the second inning after Clare Tuttle walked, moved to second on a fielder's choice, and scored on a double by Hummel. After another Ruehle single, Hummel then scored when Ruehle drew an errant throw on a steal to second.
Shanon Shaefer took the pitching loss for the WHS lasses, allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits and nine walks, with five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Kaitlyn Miller relieved Shaefer and allowed two runs on three hits and three Ks in 2 2/3 innings.
Heidebrink got the mound win for the Bulldogs, giving up four runs on 11 hits and two walks, with two strikeouts in seven innings.
Hummel was 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead Cherokee at the plate, while Ruehle was 2-3 with a run scored, and Shanon Shaefer 2-4 with a double.
"We hit the ball well tonight, but had a few too many errors to stay in the game," noted Cherokee coach Cara Lubeck.
Cherokee takes a 6-24 record into the post season and Le Mars takes a 24-10 record down tourney trail.