Norse girls’ season ends with regional loss to Solon

Todd ThorsonSports Writertthorson@storycityherald.com

The Roland-Story girls saw their season come to an end Friday night (July 8) in the second round of the 3A Regional, falling short of Solon on the latter’s home field 12-9. In a game high on offense, 20 hits were recorded; nine by the Norsemen. The Norse hung with Solon for practically the entire game, nearly matching them run for run, only to fall three runs short.

Trailing 12-6 heading to the bottom of the sixth, the R-S girls posted three on the board to pull within three at 12-9. Unfortunately, the Norsemen were retired in order in the seventh to end the game. Solon scored three runs in the first and fifth, and had a four-run fourth to maintain the lead throughout the contest.

The Norse tied the game at 3-3 with three runs in the bottom of the first. Jenna Clark’s three-run homer to left pulled the Norsemen even. Juliann Clark and Hailey Louw scored ahead of Jenna, courtesy of a lead off single and a base on balls, respectively.

With Solon leading 8-3, R-S drew to within three with two runs in the fourth. Sydney Mathis walked and Jessica Hovick singled to left. Jade Elliott then lined a two out double to right field that plated Mathis’ and Hovick’s courtesy runners, Jessica Eslick and MaKayla Geise.

Following a three-run top of the fifth, Solon held an 11-5 advantage. The Norse then scored their sixth run in the bottom of the fifth. Louw singled with one out, and advanced to third on singles by Jenna Clark and Kelsey Polaski. Louw would score on a passed ball. A strikeout and ground out, however, ended the inning with Clark and Polaski left on the base paths.

Solon made it 12-6 in the sixth before the Norsemen tallied their final three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Brooke Huffaker and Juliann Clark both walked and Susie Weaver reached on an error. Brooke’s courtesy runner Talyn Phillips came around to score on a passed ball, a ground out and another passed ball. Juliann and Susie scored when Louw reached on an error.

“I was really impressed with the level and energy the girls brought to the game,” said Coach Amber Doyle. “Even after giving up three runs in the top of the first, they just stayed calm and answered right back in the bottom of the first. They fought hard to the end of the game and adjusted well for both of their pitching changes.”

Juliann Clark and Jenna Clark led the offense with two hits each. Jenna’s three-run homer was her second in as many games. The other Norse hits came off the bats of Hailey Louw, Kelsey Polaski, Jessica Hovick and Jade Elliott.An uncharacteristic seven errors aided Solon’s victory. Pitcher Sydney Mathis threw 124 pitches, going a total of 6 2/3 innings, allowing just four earned runs, nine hits, struck out three and walked two.

“I was disappointed for the girls after coming together so well at the end of the season,” concluded Doyle, “but we knew it would be a tough road win, and unfortunately we allowed too many unearned runs to answer back for the win. Our seniors will be missed, but I hope they leave knowing that they helped us play some great ball games this summer.”

Roland-Story finishes the season with an 11-20 record. Playing their final game as a Norseman were Kelsey Polaski and Brooke Huffaker.