(Fort Dodge) -- Denison-Schleswig’s second trip to the state tournament could not have started any better.
The Lady Monarchs held a lead on top-ranked Carlisle just one batter into the game, as senior Alex Mohr blasted her third home run of the season.
As the game wore on, though, the Wildcats wore on Denison and showed just why they’ve now won 36 of 39 games this season, finishing off a 10-1 Class 4A state quarterfinal victory. However, it wasn’t Carlisle’s big bats that did the most damage. It was four Denison-Schleswig errors and a series of sacrifice bunts that did them in.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t play our best softball,” Monarchs coach Kevin Dau said. “I thought our pitcher did a nice job to shut them down to four hits, but we made four errors that proved to be pretty costly.”
After Mohr launched the home run to start the game, the Wildcats took advantage of an error to score two runs with two outs in the bottom half of the first. They added another run in the third after a pair of sacrifice bunts, and then exploded for six in the fourth before a one-run sixth.
Molly Hoekstra threw the first six innings for Carlisle, striking out six and allowing the one run on three hits - all by Mohr and all for extra bases.
“We didn’t hit the ball as well as I thought we would,” Dau said. “We hit some balls hard, but they were generally right at people. We didn’t get enough runs on the board against a team like that.”
Sarah Heilesen allowed 10 total runs (six earned) on four hits while striking out four and walking three in the loss.
Denison-Schleswig will now meet No. 4 seeded Independence on Wednesday at 11:30 AM in a consolation game.
“We plan to have fun,” Dau said. “Enjoy this atmosphere and understand we’ve had a great season. We weren’t able to beat the No. 1 team, but are we good enough to beat a four or a five? Can we come out and beat a good team? They’re rated higher than us as well, but let’s see if we can give one more good performance to finish out the season.”
View the full interview with Coach Dau below.